Russia will soon give India the technology to manufacture Sputnik V vaccine locally, amid increasing demand for the doses. 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 first consignment of imported doses of the vaccine from Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) landed in India on May 1, and received regulatory clearance from the Central Drugs Laboratory.
Reddy’s Laboratories had earlier in the month soft-launched imported Covid-19 vaccine, with Deepak Sapra, a senior executive of the drug-maker, taking the first shot.