The Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V is expected to get World Health Organization's (WHO) approval in September-October this year, said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
The vaccine is developed by Russia's Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, while RDIF is marketing it globally.
"We are expecting the approval from WHO to Sputnik V this fall. We are expecting it to come in September or October. There is plenty of positive information out there already about the vaccine. Already, 67 countries with 3.5 billion people have approved Sputnik as the data has been exceptionally positive," Dmitriev told India Today.
On RDIF's recent collaboration with the Serum Institute of India (SII) to produce 300 million doses of Sputnik V in India, he said, "Our key focus now is to provide the vaccine to many countries that can register Sputnik V and a partnership with Serum will be a major breakthrough in the joint production capability."
The RDIF CEO added that the first batch of Sputnik V is likely to be manufactured at Serum Institute's facilities in September. "The parties intend to produce over 300 million doses of the vaccine in India per year," Dmitriev said.
He further stated that with the collaboration with SII "we are talking about making 300 million doses or more a year". Dmitriev noted that the tie-up is going to be a "great contribution to the Indian vaccine making effort" and after Indian demand has been met, the rest of the doses, produced by the Serum Institute, will be supplied to other nations.
Besides SII, RDIF has signed deals with six other producers in India - Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Panacea Biotec, Stelis Biopharma, Virchow Biotech, and Morepen.
Many of the above-mentioned producers, Dmitriev said, are already manufacturing the vaccines and the quality has been confirmed by Gamaleya Institute. He added that some of them "will launch their commercial production next month."
Sputnik V vaccine has been registered in 67 countries globally, covering a total population of over 3.5 billion people.
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