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India likely to have 5 more Covid vaccines by October; nod to Russia’s Sputnik soon: Reports

NEW DELHI: India is likely to have five more Covid vaccines by October this year as the Centre is planning to scale up vaccinations amid a rapid surge in cases, top government sources told ANI.

“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,” a source said.

It added that safety and efficacy are the government’s primary concerns while granting emergency use authorisation (EUA) to any Covid-19 vaccine in the country.

Russia’s Sputnik V is likely to get emergency use approval within the next 10 days, sources added.

Among the vaccines likely to get the nod, Sputnik V has the highest efficacy rate at 92%.

Trial data for Zydus Cadila’s vaccine and Bharat Biotech’s Intranasal shot is not yet available.

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has tied up with a host of Indian pharmaceutical players such as Hyderabad based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Hetero Biopharma, Gland Pharma, Stelis Biopharma and Vichrow Biotech for the production of vaccine doses.

Giving details about the availability of vaccines, a top source said: “Sputnik is expected to be available latest by June, if all goes well Johnson and Johnson (Bio E) will be available by August, Cadilla Zydus will also be available by August, Novavex (Serum) by September and Nasal Vaccine (Bharat) by October.”

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Serum Institute’s Covishield are the two vaccines that received regulatory nod earlier this year.

India has so far administered over 10 crore doses of Covid vaccine, becoming the fastest country in the world to achieve this milestone.

However, there have been reports of vaccine shortage in several states with India grappling with a severe second wave of infections.

 

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