India may get a third COVID-19 vaccine soon as the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) will meet on Monday, April 12, to consider Sputnik V application for emergency use authorisation (EUA) in India.
As more and more states flag shortages of coronavirus vaccine doses, the Centre has pressed the accelerator to expand vaccine production manifold.
By the end of the third quarter of this year, India will get vaccines from five more manufacturers, besides the Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Serum Institute of India's (SII) Covishield, sources told ANI.
Elaborating on the new strategy to produce additional vaccine doses, a source said, "India currently has 2 COVID-19 vaccines being manufactured locally: Covishield and Covaxin, and we can expect five more vaccines by Q3 2021. These vaccines are Sputnik V vaccine (in collaboration with Dr. Reddy's), Johnson & Johnson vaccine (in collaboration with Biological E), Novavax vaccine (in collaboration with Serum India), Zydus Cadila's vaccine, and Bharat Biotech's Intranasal Vaccine."
"Safety and efficacy are the Union government's primary concerns while granting emergency use authorisation (EUA) to any COVID-19 vaccine in the country," the source added.
Of around 20 coronavirus vaccines in several clinical and pre-clinical stages, Sputnik V may get SEC's nod first.
Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has inked deals with many Indian pharma companies such as Gland Pharma, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Hetero Biopharma, Virchow Biotech and Stelis Biopharma for the production of vaccine doses.
With a manufacturing capacity of 850 million doses in India, Sputnik V, if approved, will prove to be a major shot in the arm in the fight against coronavirus.