By the end of the third quarter, India is likely to get vaccines from five additional manufacturers, including Sputnik V, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson's vaccines. This comes amid reports of shortage of COVID-19 vaccine doses from multiple states. The central government is aiming to scale up vaccine production. So far, India has two vaccines manufactured locally -- Covishield and Covaxin.
"India currently has two 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," said a source to ANI.
The first in line likely to be out for usage is Sputnik V. The Russian vaccine is likely to get the nod within 10 days from now.
Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has tied up with a host of Indian pharma companies such as Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Hetero Biopharma, Gland Pharma, Stelis Biopharma and Vichrow Biotech for the production of Sputnik V. So far, RDIF has signed deals for 850 million doses.
The source told the agency that the government is making all efforts to accelerate the process without cutting any corners. All steps needed to ramp up production and availability in India is being undertaken by the government. "The Government of India is determined to ensure India remains the pharmacy of the world and Indians have equitable access to the highest quality vaccines in the world. We encourage all COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to come to India, as the Central Government is ready to provide manufacturing assistance, financial support, and partnership in running and designing clinical trials," sources told the agency.
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