This Article is From Feb 04, 2021

Russian Covid Vaccine Sputnik Could Be Available In India By April: 10 Points

The results of Sputnik for 20,000 people shows that its efficacy cuts across age groups and co-morbidities, Mr. Sapra said. For the 60-plus age group, the vaccine showed an efficacy of 91.8 per cent, which proves its consistency, he added.

Russian Covid Vaccine Sputnik Could Be Available In India By April: 10 Points

The efficacy of Sputnik was 91.6 per cent, Lancet found.

New Delhi: Russian-made Coronavirus vaccine Sputnik -- peer-reviewed by the Lancet Medical Journal -- is undergoing trials in India and could be available for use soon. "I believe the vaccine should be available in India from March- April," Deepak Sapra, the chief of API and pharma services at Dr Reddy's Laboratories, which is manufacturing the vaccine, told NDTV. Currently two vaccines -- Serum Institute's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin -- are being administered to three crore health workers and frontline workers like the police and sanitation workers.

Here are the top10 Points in this big story:

  1. The efficacy of Sputnik, according to interim results from the Lancet study, was 91.6 per cent.

  2. "There is an agreement with our partners in Russia for the manufacture of 125 million people doses, which translates to 250 million vaccine doses," Deepak Sapra of Dr Reddy's Labs told NDTV. This will be sufficient for 12.5 crore people.

  3. The results of Sputnik for 20,000 people shows that its efficacy cuts across age groups and co-morbidities, Mr. Sapra said. For the 60-plus age group, the vaccine showed an efficacy of 91.8 per cent, which proves its consistency, he added.  

  4. The cost of the vaccine for India is not yet determined, but it would compare favourably with vaccine prices in other parts of the world, Mr Sapra said. "We are working closely with the government and our partners in the private sector... accessibility and affordability will be the mantra," he added.  

  5. The trial for Sputnik has been conducted on 36,000 people, of whom 33,000 are Russian nationals.  Besides, bridging studies are being conducted in nations like India and the United Arab Emirates. In India, the trials are being conducted on 1,600 people.

  6. The phase 2 trials in India for Sputnik were over in December. Data from Phase 2 trials showed "excellent safety and immunogenicity, Mr Sapra said.

  7. The Phase 3 trials, which are currently on, will be finished in February, after which the company will approach the drugs regulator for emergency approval.

  8. The Sputnik vaccine is available in both liquid and powder form. The liquid form needs to be stored in minus 18 degrees Celsius. For the powder form -- which can be kept in between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius, stability tests are on. "Once we get the data, we will be able to transport it across the world at 2 to 8 degrees," Mr Sapra said.

  9. The vaccination drive in India which started 18 days ago, is showing a dip in numbers again. Over the last week, daily vaccinations have slipped from 5.7 lakh to 1.8 lakh. The number of average beneficiaries per site has decreased from 57 to 49 in the last few days. Government officials admit the dip in numbers is largely due to vaccine hesitancy and the spike seen earlier was due to introduction of walk-in-vaccinations.

  10. The Union Health Ministry declared today that India is the fastest country to reach the mark of 4 million vaccinations. It achieved the mark in 18 days. After the current phase of vaccination, where the focus is on health workers and frontline workers, the vaccine will be administered to 27 crore people who are above the 50-plus age group and those below 50 who have co-morbidities.