India will produce around 300 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine next year, a Russian official said, nearly three times the number previously known as deals with multiple manufacturers have been signed.
Russia is already testing the first samples of Sputnik V produced in India, its embassy in New Delhi said on Twitter Friday, sharing a news report citing their vaccine czar Kirill Dmitriev.
Read also – The effectiveness of the Sputnik V vaccine is confirmed at 91.4%: RDIF, Gamaleya Center
“In India, we have deals with four big producers,” Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), told Rossiya 24 TV, according to news agency TASS.
“India will produce about 300 million doses or more of the vaccine for us next year.”
India is the largest vaccine producer in the world, and its pharmaceutical industry is freeing up capacity and accelerating investment ahead of the global race for COVID-19 hits.
India Hetero Biopharma has already announced an agreement with the RDIF to produce more than 100 million doses of Sputnik V, which has been found to be more than 91% effective in studies conducted outside India.
It was not immediately clear which other Indian companies would make the vaccine, although Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd is conducting clinical trials of it in India and will distribute the finished vaccine as well.
Indian officials said they may approve some vaccines for emergency use authorization in the coming weeks. So far only three vaccines from Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer / BioNTech and Indian company Bharat Biotech have requested urgent approval.
India’s Ministry of Health reported 22,890 new coronavirus infections on Friday, bringing the total to just under 10 million. It is the second most affected country in the world after the United States, which has recorded 16.9 million cases.
Deaths in India increased by 338, bringing the total to 144,789.