Russia to sell 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to India

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New Delhi (NVI): Russia’s sovereign wealth fund has agreed to supply 100 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik-V, to Indian drug company Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, as Moscow speeds up plans to distribute its shot abroad.

The deal comes after the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) reached agreements with Indian manufacturers to produce 300 million doses of the vaccine in India, which is a major consumer of Russian oil and arms.

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, according to The Moscow Times.

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.

“Deliveries could potentially begin in late 2020 subject to completion of successful trials and registration of the vaccine by regulatory authorities in India,” it said in a statement on its website.

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.

-CHK