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COVID-19: First Batch Of Sputnik V Arrives In India As 3rd Phase Of Vaccination Kicks Off

The first batch of Russia-made Sputnik V vaccines arrived in Hyderabad on Saturday as India begins with the third phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive.

ANI/PTI/Representative Image

In a key development, the first batch of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine arrived in Hyderabad on Saturday. The first batch comprises 1,50,000 doses, while the remaining batches that are scheduled to arrive in the next one month, will comprise over 3 million doses. This holds relevance at a time when most states in India are complaining of vaccine shortage, and as a result, are deferring the third phase of their vaccination drive, which began today on May 1.

The Russian-based manufacturers took to the official Twitter handle and informed about the arrival of the first batch in India. "The 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, " they wrote. 

The Indian Embassy in Moscow that functions with the username 'India in Russia'  retweeting the post, wrote, "The first batch of SputnikV arrives in India!" and went on to use hashtags like '#United2FightCorona'.

Sputnik V-All you need to know about India's third vaccine

Developed by Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and supported by the Russian sovereign wealth fund, Sputnik V is a vaccine based on human adenoviral victors. It is one of the three vaccines in the world, the other two being Pfizer and Moderna, to have an efficacy of over 90 percent against coronavirus disease, which is caused by SARS-CoV-2. On April 12, India extended emergency authorization to it and became the 60th country to approve it. 

While it is being imported initially, more than 850 million doses of the Russian vaccine will also be produced in India annually. Dr Reddy’s and Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) entered into a partnership to conduct the clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine and the rights for distribution in India.

This will be the third vaccine to be used in India against Coronavirus. Covaxin, indigenously developed and manufactured by Bharat Biotech and Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India in collaboration with Oxford-AstraZeneca are the two vaccines used in India's vaccination drive at present. 

India's vaccination drive 

India began its COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16, aiming to vaccinate 3 crore health care workers. Its second phase of vaccination kicked off on March 1, with PM Modi taking the first shot. The second phase was dedicated to those above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with co-morbidities - registered on CoWIN portal and walk-ins at some hospitals. On April 1, the Centre opened up vaccination for all above 45 years and from May 1, 18 years and above will be eligible to get themselves vaccinated, for which the registrations have begun from April 28 on CoWIN portal and Aarogya Setu App.

(Credit-ANI/PTI/Representative Image)

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