IMAGE: AP / SHUTTERSTOCK
In a significant development in ramping up the COVID-19 vaccines' manufacturing in the country, Panacea Biotec has collaborated with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for the production of 100 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine. Headquartered in Delhi, Panacea Biotec along with RDIF announced the launch of the production of Sputnik V on Monday. Sputnik V was registered in India under the emergency use authorization procedure on April 12, 2021, and vaccination against Coronavirus with the Russian vaccine started on May 14.
The first batch produced at Panacea Biotec's facilities at Himachal Pradesh's Baddi will be shipped to the Gamaleya Centre for quality control whereas full-scale production of the vaccine would begin soon. Panacea's facilities comply with Good manufacturing practice (GMP) standards and are prequalified by World Health Organisation.
BREAKING: RDIF and Panacea Biotec launch the production of Sputnik V in India. #India's @PanaceaBiotec now to produce 100 million doses of #SputnikV per year— Sputnik V (@sputnikvaccine) May 24, 2021
Speaking on the momentous development, Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the RDIF, said, "Launch of production in India in partnership with Panacea Biotec marks an important step in helping the country fight the pandemic. Production of Sputnik V supports efforts of India’s authorities to leave behind the acute phase of Coronavirus as soon as possible while the vaccine will also be exported at a later stage to help prevent the spread of the virus in other countries around the world."
Dr Rajesh Jain, Managing Director, Panacea Biotec, said, "This marks a significant step as we initiate production of Sputnik V. Together with RDIF, we hope to help bring a sense of normalcy back to people across the country and around the world."
While speaking with Republic earlier this month, RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev stated that three million vaccine doses will be sent to India in the coming weeks, while India will start indigenous production of the Russian developed vaccine to produce 850 million doses this year. The announcement of Panacea Biotec's launch of manufacturing Sputnik V is seemingly in line with RDIF's plan of producing 850 million doses in India. Kirill Dmitriev had also stated that Sputnik V is a "Russian-Indian vaccine" since its clinical trials were conducted in India and the Russian authorities had been in close contact with the Indian scientists during the development of the vaccine.
The efficacy of Sputnik V is 97.6 per cent based on the analysis of data on the Coronavirus infection rate among those in Russia vaccinated with both components of Sputnik V from December 5, 2020, to March 31, 2021. To date, Sputnik V is registered in 65 countries with a total population of over 3.2 billion people. India became the 60th country to approve Sputnik V. Post-vaccination studies in several countries demonstrated that Sputnik V is the safest and most effective vaccine against coronavirus.