Russia on Thursday authorised a single-dose version of the COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, said the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia's sovereign wealth fund that helped financed the vaccine. The new version of the COVID-19 vaccine - Sputnik Light - has an efficacy of around 80 per cent, compared to Sputnik V's 91.6 per cent, said the developers of the shot.
While Sputnik V remains our core vaccine, Sputnik Light has its own features. See how it's different from its parent, #SputnikV, already registered in 64 countries with a total population of over 3.2 bln people.
Sputnik Light - a light step to freedom.👇https://t.co/jmnvObjwn5- Sputnik V (@sputnikvaccine) May 6, 2021
Alexander Gintsburg, the director of the Gamaleya National Research Center said, 'Sputnik Light will help to prevent the spread of coronavirus through the faster immunisation of larger population groups, as well as supporting high immunity levels in those who have already been infected previously.'
Both Sputnik vaccines are developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. Sputnik V is administered in two doses separated by 21 days and requires a minus 18-20 degrees Celsius cold chain to remain stable.
'Sputnik Light offers strong value in initial vaccination and re-vaccination, as well as boosting efficacy when taken in combination with other vaccines,' added Gintsburg.
The results were 'from 28 days after the injection was administered as part of Russia's mass vaccination program between 5 December 2020 and 15 April 2021,' said RDIF in a statement.
'Sputnik Light has proven effective against all new strains of coronavirus,' added RDIF. 'No serious adverse events were registered after vaccination with Sputnik Light.'
The RDIF further added that 'the cost of the Sputnik Light vaccine globally will be less than $10 [around Rs 730], while it has simple storage requirements, at 2-8 degrees Celsius, which provide for easy logistics.'
India, which is currently battling a devastating second wave of the pandemic, has given emergency-use authorisation to COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V after the Serum Institute's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.
Dr Reddy's and RDIF entered into a partnership in September to conduct clinical trials of Sputnik V and the rights for distribution of the first 10 crore doses in India. Apart from Dr Reddy's, RDIF also has contracts with other Indian firms - Gland Pharma and Hetero Biopharma.
India received Sputnik V vaccines' first batch of 1.5 lakh units from Russia on May 1. It is expected to receive another 1.5 lakh vaccines in a few days, while another 30 lakh vaccines are expected to be delivered by end of the month. In addition to this, RDIF has stated that over 85 crore doses of the Sputnik V vaccine will be produced annually in India.