India will produce about 300 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccines next year, a Russian official was quoted as saying.
According to Reuters, this new number is nearly three times the previously known quantity as deals have been signed with more manufacturers.
Russia is already testing the first samples of Sputnik V that were produced in India, its embassy in New Delhi said on Twitter on Friday, sharing a news story in which their vaccine czar Kirill Dmitriev was quoted.
“In India, we have agreements with four large manufacturers. India will produce about 300 million doses or more of the vaccine for us next year, ” Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) told Rossiya 24 TV, according to news agency TASS.
India’s Hetero Biopharma has already announced a deal with the RDIF to make more than 100 million doses of Sputnik V, whose efficacy has been found to be more than 91% in trials done outside India.
Indian officials have said they may approve some vaccines for emergency use authorisation in the coming weeks. So far only three vaccines from Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech and Indian company Bharat Biotech have applied for urgent approval.
India is the world’s second-worst affected country after the United States, which has recorded 16.9 million cases. It reported 22,890 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, taking its total to just shy of 10 million. The death toll stands at 144,789.
India is the world’s biggest vaccine maker and its pharmaceutical industry is freeing up capacity and accelerating investments ahead of the global rush for COVID-19 shots.
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