Russia to Send India 100M Coronavirus Vaccine Doses

Russia will sell 100 million doses of its highly touted coronavirus vaccine to India once final trials and regulatory steps are completed, Russia’s sovereign fund that is bankrolling the project announced Wednesday.

India is one of at least 32 countries that have expressed interest in testing and obtaining Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. Brazil, Mexico and Kazakhstan have signed supply deals with Russia so far.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said it has partnered with the Hyderabad-based global pharmaceutical company Dr. Reddy’s on clinical trials and distribution of Sputnik V in India.

“Upon regulatory approval in India, RDIF shall supply to Dr. Reddy’s 100 million doses of the vaccine,” it said in a statement on its website.

“Deliveries could potentially begin in late 2020 subject to completion of successful trials and registration of the vaccine by regulatory authorities in India,” RDIF added.

RDIF has a manufacturing partnership agreement to make 300 million doses of the Russian adenovirus-based vector vaccine, which is administered in two shots, in India.

Russia began post-registration Phase 3 trials of Sputnik V among 40,000 volunteers in Moscow earlier this month amid questions surrounding its long-term safety. First results are expected either next month or in November, RDIF said.

India’s confirmed Covid-19 cases soared past 5 million Wednesday. The last million infections were reported in the country of 1.3 billion over the past 11 days, with global health officials warning that India is “not even in the middle” of its outbreak.

1 in 7 Russian Coronavirus Vaccine Volunteers Report Side Effects

One in seven volunteers have complained of side effects including weakness and muscle pain after taking Russia’s highly touted coronavirus vaccine, Russia’s health minister said Tuesday.

Final clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine began in Moscow earlier this month amid questions over its long-term safety and effectiveness.

Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said more than 300 out of the announced 40,000 volunteers have been vaccinated so far, according to the state-run TASS news agency.

“Approximately 14% have small complaints of weakness, muscle pain for 24 hours and an occasional increase in body temperature,” TASS quoted Murashko as saying.

Murashko said the symptoms “level off” by the next day.

“The complications are described in the instructions and are predictable,” he said.

Volunteers are expected to receive a second shot of the adenovirus-based viral vector vaccine within 21 days of the first.

Russian government officials and party leaders have reported taking part in the trials.

Developers have in recent days begun distributing small batches of Sputnik V across Russian regions in parallel with the Phase 3 trials. The general population could get vaccinated in late November or early December, Murashko has said.

Russia has confirmed nearly 1.1 million cases of Covid-19 in the six months since its outbreak began, with a steady uptick in daily cases seen in recent days.

Public polling has said that nearly half of Russians do not plan to receive the coronavirus vaccine at any point.

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