Centre permits export of 4 million doses of Sputnik Light Covid-19 vaccine to Russia
The central government has given permission for the export of India-made jabs of Sputnik Light, the vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) originally developed by Russia, to that country. According to reports, this decision was taken because Sputnik Light, which is the single-dose formulation of the double-dose Sputnik V, is yet to be given emergency use authorisation (EUA) by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
Hyderabad-based Hetero Biopharma, one of several firms in India that the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has partnered with for manufacturing the jab domestically, will produce 4 million doses for export. The development comes after the Russian ambassador, Nikolay Kudashev, wrote to the Centre, urging that till the time Sputnik Light receive EUA in India, its doses be sent to his country, to prevent their wastage.
The decision to permit the export was taken last week following “detailed” deliberations, reports said.
Sputnik V, which Russia claims is the world's first registered vaccine against Covid-19, received clearance from the DCGI in April at a time when the nation was in the middle of a devastating second wave of the pandemic. However, the drug regulator is yet to approve Sputnik Light, though, in September, it granted permission to Dr Reddy's Laboratories, also based in Hyderabad, to conduct phase 3 bridging trials of Light in the country.
The single-dose vaccine demonstrated an efficacy of 79.4 per cent during trials in Russia, from December 5 last year to April 15 this year.
(With PTI inputs)