As more states flag shortage of COVID-19 vaccine doses amid a spike in cases, the government is set to speed up the process of granting emergency approvals to other shots.
In a big boost to the vaccination drive, India will get five new vaccines by the end of the third quarter of 2021, ANI reported top government sources as saying.
India has granted emergency use authorisation to indigenously made Covaxin, developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, and Oxford University-Astrazeneca’s vaccine, manufactured by Serum Institute of India under the brand name Covishield.
“We can expect five more vaccines by Q3 2021. These vaccines are Sputnik V vaccine (in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s), Johnson & Johnson vaccine (in collaboration with Biological E), Novavax vaccine (in collaboration with Serum India), Zydus Cadila’s vaccine, and Bharat Biotech’s intranasal vaccine,” the source told the news agency.
Of all the vaccines, Sputnik V will be the first one to get approval. “It is expected that Sputnik is likely to get the EUA within the next ten days,” the source added.
When asked about the timeline, the government source said that Sputnik V is expected to be available latest by June, while Zydus and Johnson and Johnson shots will be available by August.
Novovax may be available by September, while approval for the nasal vaccine is likely by October, the report said.
The government is making all efforts to accelerate the progress without cutting any corners in research, development, and clinical trial stages, source added.
Sputnik V approval is likely to give a major boost to India’s vaccination drive as the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has tied up with at least 6 India-based pharma companies for the production of the vaccine.
On April 5, the RDIF and drug firm Panacea Biotec had said that they had agreed to produce 100 million doses per year of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in India.
It has also signed an agreement with Virchow Biotech to produce up to 200 million doses a year of the Sputnik V vaccine in India.
On March 19, RDIF and India’s Stelis Biopharma said they have partnered to produce and supply a minimum of 200 million doses of the Sputnik V.