The first lot of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, the third one to be used in India after Covishield and Covaxin against coronavirus, arrived in Hyderabad on Saturday.
“Sputnik-V vaccine will add to India’s arsenal to fight the pandemic. This third option will augment our vaccine capacity & accelerate our vaccination drive. This is the first consignment of 1.5 lakh doses of Sputnik-V vaccine with millions of doses to follow,” MEA said in a statement.
The vaccines come at a time when a deadly second wave of the coronavirus has been causing havoc across the country. The coronavirus cases in the country hit a grim global record with 4,01,993 fresh infections in the last 24 hours. 3,523 deaths were reported.
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), in a tweet, said that Hyderabad customs expedited the clearance of the COVID-19 vaccine imported from Russia.
“Hyderabad Customs, @cgstcushyd facilitated expeditious clearance of #SputnikV Vaccine imported from Russia,” the CBIC tweeted.
— ANI (@ANI) May 1, 2021
The third phase of the world’s largest vaccination drive started today even as several states have flagged a shortage.
“First batch of #SputnikV vaccine arrives in Hyderabad, India! That’s the same day the country starts mass COVID vaccination drive covering its entire adult population. Let’s jointly defeat this pandemic. Together we are stronger,” tweeted Sputnik V, the world’s first registered COVID-19 vaccine.
First batch of #SputnikV vaccine arrives in Hyderabad, India! That's the same day the country starts mass COVID vaccination drive covering its entire adult population. Let's jointly defeat this pandemic. Together we are stronger.✌️ pic.twitter.com/312Kvtax1L
— Sputnik V (@sputnikvaccine) May 1, 2021
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in tweet said: “Appropriate timely response @cgstcushyd. Need of the hour.”
In September last, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, which has received approval from the Indian drug regulator for restricted emergency use of Sputnik V, entered into a partnership with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to conduct clinical trials of the vaccine.
Dr Reddy’s has bagged the rights for distribution of the first 100 million doses in India, which was later enhanced to 125 million.
Sputnik V, named after the first Soviet Space satellite, works on the principle of a weakened Covid virus delivering parts of a pathogen that triggers an immune response in the body.
The two-dose vaccine developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute costs less than $10 for each shot in international markets.
Five more vaccines, say government officials, will be in use in India by October.
The other vaccines coming up are Johnson and Johnson (Bio E), Zydus Cadila, Serum’s Novavax and Bharat Biotech’s nasal vaccine