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Health Ministry Issues Its First Response On 'Sputnik Light' & Single-dose COVID Vaccine

Union Health Ministry said Sputnik Light, a single dose vaccine, will help fasten up vaccination drive, as India faces vaccine shortage amid second COVID wave

Sputnik Light

IMAGE: PTI / @SPUTNIKVACCINE TWITTER


As the country struggles to contain the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines are set to play an important role in ensuring that the third wave isn't as devastating as the second one which the country is facing at the moment. The dangerous surge of virus infections has overwhelmed the health infrastructure as well as the vaccine manufacturers, given the urgency of the production of the vaccines in order to vaccinate the massive population of the country to contain the second wave and be prepared for the third one.

Amid the shortage of vaccines and with vaccine manufacturers in the country ramping up production of the COVID-19 vaccines, India has received the first batch of Russian vaccine Sputnik vaccine and is also eyeing importing the Sputnik's new variant 'Sputnik Light', which the manufacturers claim to be a single-dose vaccine.

Speaking on the same, Union Health Ministry said a vaccine like Sputnik Light will help fasten up the vaccination drive in the country as a single dose will help guard the people against the virus faster than the two-dose vaccines.

"The first dose is enough in Sputnik Light. This is what they are claiming. We will examine this after their applications arrive. There will be no requirement for a second dose. This will help in ramping up the vaccination drive faster. Johnson & Johnson is also claiming the same thing," Health Ministry said in its briefing.

The makers of Russia's Sputnik V Coronavirus vaccine on Thursday launched a single-dose vaccine named 'Sputnik Light'. According to the Russian Direct Investment Fund, this revolutionary single-shot vaccine is 80% effective against the virus – a figure higher than most two-shot vaccines around the globe. Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian direct investment Fund (RDIF) on May 6 said Sputnik Light will be produced in India much like its predecessor Sputnik V vaccine.

India gets first lot of Sputnik V

India has already received the first batch of Sputnik V vaccine on May 1, with more batches to follow. India became the 60th country to approve Sputnik V. While the Sputnik V is being imported initially, India will also produce more than 850 million doses of the Russian vaccine 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. RDIF has signed pacts with five Indian companies to produce 850 million doses of the vaccine in India that will not only be used in India and Russia but also exported to other countries. Sputnik V is a two-dose vaccine and the cost of one dose of the vaccine for international markets will be less than $10. Sputnik V is the third vaccine to be used in India against Coronavirus, the first two being Covaxin (Bharat Biotech) and Covishielf (Serum Institute).

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