Sputnik V vaccine may be available in the market next week: Health Ministry

The Union government has said that over two billion doses of various vaccines will be made available from August to December 2021, enough to vaccinate the entire population.
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Russia-made Sputnik V vaccine may be in the markets by next week, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday. India received its first consignment of the vaccine on May 1 and is expected to get the second one on Friday, May 14. Sputnik V has been developed by Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow and is being distributed in India in collaboration with Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. 

A study published in the journal The Lancet has pegged the efficacy of Sputnik V at 91.6%. The vaccine is to be administered in two doses of 0.5 ml each at an interval of 21 days. It has to be stored at -18 degrees Celsius.

With many states grappling with a shortage of coronavirus vaccines, the Union government on Thursday released data on the vaccines that will be available in the country in five months between August and December. The government has said that over two billion doses will be made available, enough to vaccinate the entire population.

"Two billion doses (216 crore) will be made in the country in five months for India and for the people of India. Vaccines will be available for all as we move forward," said Dr VK Paul, Niti Ayog Member (Health), adding by the first quarter of the next year, the number is likely to be three billion. He estimated that between August to December, production of 75 crore doses of Covishield is estimated, while 55 crores doses of Covaxin will be made available. Biological E is expected to produce 30 crore doses, Zydus Cadila 5 crore, Serum Institute of India 20 crore doses of Novavax, and Bharat Biotech 10 crore doses of its nasal vaccine, while Gennova will make available 6 crore doses and Sputnik V 15.6 crore doses.

The government also added that it is proactively engaging with foreign vaccine manufacturers like Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson to apply for Emergency Use Authorization in India so that these vaccines can be easily imported and made available in India. 

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