Days after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the first coronavirus vaccine developed by Russia, Sputnik V, the Indian Health Ministry is reportedly in talks with Russia to seek information about the vaccine and also make a purchase.
“As far as Sputnik V vaccine is concerned, India and Russia are in communication. Some initial information has been shared,” said Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Union Health Ministry.
Many health organizations, however, have said that Russia had skipped the third stage of clinical testing of the vaccine, which requires it to be tested on 20,000+ people before declaring it safe for use.
Addressing a press conference, Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, “As far as #SputnikV #vaccine is concerned, #India and #Russia are in communication, some initial information has been shared and some detailed information is awaited.” pic.twitter.com/BNtc27iZjV— IANS Tweets (@ians_india) August 25, 2020
Only after announcing the vaccine, Russia would now perform the phase III trial, which involved more than 40,000 people at more than 45 medical centres around Russia, the TASS news agency reported earlier.
The RIA news agency cited Russian Industry Minister Denis Manturov as saying that Russia aims to make 1.5 million and 2 million doses of vaccine by the year-end. He also said that Russia further will ramp up its production to six million doses a month.
Earlier, reports stated that Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund that is funding the Russian coronavirus vaccine program, is interested in producing Sputnik V in India too.
Dmitriev in conversation with India Today said India’s capability to mass-produce the vaccine will help the world fight the pandemic. A vaccine by Oxford University is also being tested in India as of now.
“The production of the vaccine is a very important issue. Currently, we are looking for a partnership with India. We believe that they are capable of producing the Gamaleya vaccine and it is very important to say that those partnerships to produce the vaccine will enable us to cover the demand that we have,” he said.