Amid increasing demand for the doses,Russia will soon give India the technology to manufacture Sputnik V vaccine locally. The vaccine will begin production in India from August, said country’s envoy to Russia, DB Venkatesh Varma, on Saturday.
He added that by end of May, above three million doses will be supplied in bulk and in June the number is expected to increase to five million. “The plan is to produce 850 million doses of the vaccine in India initially,” Varma said.
The Russian vaccine manufacturers have collaborated with Dr Reddy’s in India and has already supplied over two lakh doses to India. “Sputnik V has already supplied 150,000 doses and then 60,000 doses to India,” the envoy said.
Sputnik V has been approved to be imported from Russia, but is yet to be widely available in the country. The company had said the imported doses of the vaccine are presently priced at a maximum retail price of Rs 948, with 5 per cent GST per dose, amounting to Rs 995.4 per dose. Only three vaccines have been approved to be sold in India — Covaxin, Coveshield and Sputnik V.
The envoy also commented on the current situation in India and said that it is coming under control.
On the black fungus crisis, he informed that India is in touch with the Russian authorities if they can supply some medicines related to the treatment of the illness.
This is to be noted that the Russian sovereign wealth fund Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which has funded the vaccine, has signed a pact with five Indian companies for production in India.
India has already got 2,10,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine earlier this month and by the end of May, it will get 3 million doses in form of bulk for fill and finish. By June, this number will increase to 5 million.
The Russian side has also announced that the one dose ‘Sputnik lite’ COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available in India.
Amid the first and second of COVID-19, India and Russia have cooperated with each other with New Delhi sending hydroxychloroquine to the country in 2020, while Moscow sent two planes full of aid in 2021.
More Russian Aid is expected to reach India in the next few days.
Russia has also requested India to give samples of the B.1.617 COVID-19 virus variant found in the country, with New Delhi working on it.
Asked about the S400 Missile system, envoy Venkatesh Varma said that it will be delivered in the last quarter of this year.
India had signed the contract for the deal during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit in 2018. Currently, the Indian military specialists are being trained in Russia to operate the missile defence system.
Dismissing delays in contracts in military space, envoy Varma said, “What contracts have already been concluded are proceeding according to schedule, there is no delay in any of the contracts.”?