As more and more states flag shortages of coronavirus vaccine doses, the Centre has scaled up efforts to expand vaccine production manifold

India on Monday approved Sputnik-V, the vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) developed by Russia.

Sputnik V is the third COVID-19 vaccine approved by the country's Subject Expert Committee (SEC) after Covishield and Covaxin.

“Expert panel of Central drug regulator, DCGA recommends emergency use authorisation to the Russian Vaccine, #SputnikV. After necessary approval from DCGA, Sputnik-V will be the 3rd vaccine to get emergency use authorisation from the drug regulator after #Covishield and #Covaxin,” All India Radio said in a tweet.

Dr Reddy's Laboratories, the Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company, last week sought the government's approval for the vaccine to be used in India. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) partnered with Dr Reddy's in September 2020 to conduct clinical trials of Sputnik V in India.

The Russian vaccine has an efficacy of 91.6% and is conducting its Phase III clinical trials in the UAE, India, Venezuela and Belarus, according to the Sputnik-V's website.

The RDIF has also inked deals with several Indian pharma companies, including Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Virchow Biotech, and Stelis Biopharma, for the production of vaccine doses.

As more and more states flag shortages of coronavirus vaccine doses, the Centre has pressed the accelerator to expand the vaccine production manifold.

With a manufacturing capacity of 850 million doses in India, Sputnik V will prove to be a major shot in the arm in the fight against coronavirus.

Going by reports, India is likely to approve five more vaccines for protection against Covid-19 amid a surge in the Covid-19 cases.

A number of other vaccines like Johnsons & Johnsons have told the Indian government that they are going to start the trials for Phase 1 and 2 in India.

India has continued to see a surge in Covid-19 active cases. 1,68,912 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, India’s total Active Caseload has reached 12,01,009.

Daily deaths continue to show an upward trend. 904 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.