- Dr Reddy's had approached drug regulator for Sputnik V's approval
- Russia-developed shot has higher efficacy than ones being used in India
- In India, the trials are being conducted on 1,600 people
The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Indian drug regulator will meet today to take up an application by pharma giant Dr Reddy's Laboratories seeking emergency approval for Sputnik V, the Russia-developed coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine has an efficacy of 91.6 per cent.
On February 19, Dr Reddy's Laboratories had approached the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) to get approval for the emergency use of Sputnik V.
At 91.6 per cent, Sputnik V has a higher efficacy as compared to Covid vaccines that are currently being administered in India. While Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield vaccine, being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, has an efficacy of around 70 per cent, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin's efficacy is not known.
Sputnik V is one of only three vaccines in the world with such a high efficacy rate, after Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The two-dose vaccine also has most authorisations granted with 26 countries globally. Priced at less than $10 per dose in international markers, the vaccine has already been administered to more than 20 lakh people worldwide.
In India, the trials are being conducted on 1,600 people.
The Sputnik vaccine is available in both liquid and powder form. The liquid form needs to be stored in minus 18 degrees. For the powder form - which can be kept in between 2 and 8 degrees, stability tests are on.
In September last year, Dr Reddy's partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to conduct clinical trials of Sputnik V and for its distribution rights in India.
1.21 crore healthcare and frontline workers in India have been vaccinated against coronavirus so far.