Russia’s sovereign wealth fund on Wednesday agreed to supply 100 million doses of world’s first COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik-V to Indian drug company Dr Reddy’s Laboratories as Moscow speeds up plans to distribute its shot abroad.
Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) reached agreements with Indian manufacturers to produce 300 million doses of the vaccine in India, which is a major consumer of Russian oil and arms.
RDIF said in a statement that Dr Reddy’s will carry out Phase III clinical trials of the vaccine in India, pending regulatory approval, with deliveries to to India beginning in the late 2020.
It is to be noted that the delivery of the vaccin would start only after the large-scale Phase III trials were complete, and the the vaccine’s registration by regulatory authorities in India.
Russia became the first country last month to officially register the the “Sputnik V”, becoming the first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine.
It is to be noted that the vaccine was licensed before completing large-scale Phase III trials. Mant scientists and doctors have raised concerns about the efficacy, safety of COVID-19 vaccine.
On August 15, the Russian Health Ministry announced the launch of the vaccine production.
The Indian government said late last month that New Delhi and Moscow are in communication regarding the Sputnik V vaccine.
Addressing a press conference, Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said: “As far as Sputnik V vaccine is concerned, India and Russia are in communication, some initial information has been shared and some detailed information is awaited”.
Earlier, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Kirill Dmitriev, had said that Russia was looking for a partnership with India to produce the Covid-19 vaccine.
Sputnik V, an adenovirus vector-based vaccine, was developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology along with Russian Direct Investment Fund.