Announcing the development, the Indian envoy to Russia Bala Venkatesh Varma said, “We expect between 150,000 to 200,000 ready-made vaccines to be available very quickly in the early part of May. But this will be increased by middle and the latter part of May and perhaps by May itself total sputnik V Numbers will be probably more than 3 million.” Adding, “So, it’s a very substantial number. This will steadily increase to 5 million in June, 10 million, correspondingly we wish to take it forward”
Gamaleya Research Institute vaccine which developed the vaccine has in a recent study said that the vaccine is effective against mutant forms of the covid. The arrival of the Sputnik V vaccine coincides with India will open up vaccination for the entire adult population from the 1st of May. Envoy Venkatesh said Sputnik V “will be providing a contribution to India’s vaccination efforts” and ” as the scale of vaccination increase in India, its manufacturing will happen”
Russian sovereign wealth fund Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which has funded the vaccine has signed a pact with 5 Indian companies to produce 850 million doses of the vaccine. The production begins in May. The India-produced Russian vaccine will not only be used in India and Russia but will also be exported to 3rd country. Envoy highlighted, “We expect in the months ahead more than 60-70 % of Sputnik vaccine produced anywhere will be produced in India”.
RDIF is in talks with Indian regulators to do a combination of vaccines like first can be AstraZeneca, second can be Sputnik V. The Envoy Varma pointed while its, “not been approved as yet” but if that “combination is possible then that is an additional benefit”. Russia is also expected to make an announcement on Sputnik Lite.
Russia extended support to India earlier this week by sending 22 tonnes of grant assistance to deal with the ongoing covid crisis. The assistance includes 20 oxygen production units, 75 lung ventilators, 150 medical monitors, and 200,000 packs of medicine. Russian Emergencies Ministry had sent Two Il-76 aircraft with supplies, which envoy Venkatesh said, “is extremely valued” and this “assistance will live in our memory as one more standing testimony of very close friendship” between India and Russia.
Asked about any travel ban between the 2 countries amid the covid crisis in India, Envoy dismissed that saying, “as present no plans for restricting air travel” between India and Russia. 2 flights are being run by Aeroflot and 2 by Air India between both the countries even has Moscow authorities have taken additional precautions including conducting additional test from travelers coming from India. Several countries have imposed restrictions on travelers from India due to the covid crisis.