Russia has secured a deal to supply 120 crore doses of its coronavirus vaccine in more than 10 countries including India. According to the Wall Street Journal report, Russia has signed a preliminary agreement with countries like India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Mexico to deliver the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, which could give Russia "a valuable economic and political leverage" internationally. Russian officials said that they are in various stages of talks with other countries as well.
Sputnik V will be manufactured overseas and circulated globally by November-end. However, the shot would require local regulatory approval before distribution. On 11 August, the Russian government officially registered the world's first coronavirus vaccine, dubbed Sputnik V.
Meanwhile, Russian companies are planning to reach the maximum capacity of COVID-19 vaccine production by February 2021. Russian Minister of Industry and Trade said, " We expect that in October there will be 5 lakh vaccine doses and by the end of the year-2 to 3 million doses. We plan to reach maximum capacity by February of next year".
However, several experts have raised concerns over the rush to use the vaccine. According to the US daily, the Russian researchers completed only small-scale tests on 76 volunteers before securing approval. The data from early trials had shown that the shot was "safe to use" and generated an immune response but experts say that large scale testing is necessary to determine the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Officials in the US have also indicated that they are unlikely to use Russia's vaccine in wake of doubt over the testing procedures. However, the Indian government is in consultations with the Russian government for exploring the possibility of getting the Russian vaccine Sputnik V.
Last week, Minister of state for health Ashwini Choubey informed the Lok Sabha that the department of biotechnology was in talks with the Russian government for the coronavirus vaccine. As per the preliminary agreement, India would receive 10 crore doses and Brazil would receive 5 crore doses from Russia.
Russian officials said there is a strong demand for the Sputnik V vaccine from the developing countries. At present, Russia is conducting a clinical trial of the vaccine in Brazil, UAE, Belarus, and Egypt.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said he will give priority to Russian and Chinese vaccines because western countries, "are all about profit".
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