India is in touch with Russia over the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, which was launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin on August 11. The health ministry said on Tuesday that it was in conversation with Russia and was awaiting detailed information on the vaccine. Speaking at a press conference, secretary (health) Rajesh Bhushan said, “As far as Sputnik-5 vaccine is concerned, India and Russia are in communication. Some initial information has been shared. We are awaiting detailed information.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin had announced weeks back that his country has developed the “world’s first vaccine against COVID-19”, which works “quite effectively” against the disease.
Last week, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said the country is looking for a partnership with India for producing the vaccine.
Dmitriev had said that several nations are interested in the production of the vaccine from countries in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. “The production of the vaccine is a very important issue. Currently, we are looking for a partnership with India. We believe that they are capable of producing the Gamaleya vaccine and it is very important to say that those partnerships to produce the vaccine will enable us to cover the demand that we have,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
Sputnik V has been developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in association with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
The vaccine is currently under Phase 3 clinical trials. According to researchers, the Sputnik V vaccine has two shots that use different versions of adenoviruses (types of virus). Some adenoviruses causing common cold have been engineered to carry the gene for the surface protein of SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19.
Talking about vaccines being developed in India, Bhargava on Tuesday said that 1700 patients are to be studied in Phase 2B/Phase 3 clinical trials of the vaccine being conducted by Serum Institute. As of now, three vaccines are in progress and three more are in the pre-clinical stage, he said.
As India is aggressively working on vaccine trials and strategy for mass vaccination against the highly infectious disease, the number of cases continues to rise. India as on Tuesday recorded over 3188018 COVID-19 cases. The disease has claimed also claimed over 58082 lives when the pharmaceutical
Companies across the world are in a race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
The health ministry said that a study of the critical cases shows 2.70% of patients are on oxygen support, 1.92% are in ICU, while 0.29% of patients are on ventilator support, out of the total active cases. This apart, analysis of deaths show, 51% of deaths occurred in 60 years and above age group, 36% deaths in the 45-60 years age group, 11% between 26-44 years, 1% in 18-25 years age group and 1% COVID-19 related deaths occurred to those aged below 17.