New Delhi: Looks like the race to roll-out the much-awaited vaccine for the novel Coronavirus has once again pepped up as after United Kingdom, Russia has also given green signal to start mass vaccination with Sputnik V vaccine from next week. As per reports, Sputnik V will be available for free to all Russian citizens. ALSO READ | Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine Update: UK Approves Vaccine For Use Next Week
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered government authorities to begin mass vaccination with Sputnik V. A report by news agency Reuters stated that Russia could begin large-scale vaccination on a voluntary basis in December.
“Let’s agree on this – you will not report to me next week, but you will start mass vaccination … let’s get to work already,” Putin reportedly told Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova.
Putin has claimed that Russia will have produced 2 million vaccine doses within the next few days.
The announcement by Russia comes hours after UK approved the Pfizer’s BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for widespread use starting next week.
Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko recently informed that more than 100,000 people in the country had already been vaccinated against COVID-19, as Moscow presented its Sputnik V vaccine to the United Nations over video link.
Russia said last month that its Sputnik V jab was 92 per cent effective at protecting people from COVID-19 according to interim results. The announcement by Russia comes after as the country on Wednesday recorder 589 deaths in the last 24 hours from Coronavirus, the news agency reported.
As per media reports, one dose of Sputnik V vaccine will cost around $10 (Rs 740) for international markets. Makers have said that two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine is required for every person, hence the cost of the Russian vaccine will be around $20 (Rs 1480) per individual.
Sputnik V Vaccine development in India
Dr. Reddys Laboratories Ltd. and Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) announced on Tuesday that they have commenced adaptive Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials for Sputnik V vaccine in India for Covid-19 after receiving the necessary clearance from the Central Drugs Laboratory, Kasauli.
Recently, the RDIF announced the second interim analysis of clinical trial data, which showed 91.4 per cent efficacy for the vaccine on day 28 after the first dose; and vaccine efficacy of over 95 per cent 42 days after the first dose.
Currently, 40,000 volunteers are taking part in Phase III of Sputnik V clinical trials, out of which over 22,000 have been vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine and more than 19,000 — with both the first and second doses of the vaccine.
Pfizer Vaccine Update
The United Kingdom became the first country to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 after “rigorous” analysis by its independent regulator, paving the way for mass vaccinations from as early as next week among people at the highest risk of death from the deadly virus.
The British regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), says the jab, which claims to offer up to 95 per cent protection against Covid-19 illness, is safe for roll out.
The vaccines require two doses 21 days apart, with strong immunity response kicking in after seven days of the second dose. The MHRA said it will continue to monitor the data on a rolling basis once the vaccines are deployed among the British public.
The vaccine must be stored at around -70C and will be transported in special boxes, packed in dry ice. Once delivered, it can be kept for up to five days in a fridge.