Home / News / India /  Covid-19 vaccine: Russia says having 'close dialogue' with India for production

Amid the race for a potential vaccine against the novel coronavirus, Russia has been in the news for developing the "world's first Covid-19 vaccine," Sputnik V and now, a government official said that they were having "close dialogue" with India on the local manufacturing of the vaccine.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO, Russian Direct Investment Fund today said, "We are having close dialogue with corresponding ministries and Indian government and its leading manufactures regarding localisation of production of Sputnik V vaccine," reported news agency ANI.

Dmitriev also mentioned that around 60% of all vaccines in the world are being produced in India and added that he recognises India's potential in producing Covid-19 vaccines in manifold.

"We do recognise India's potential to become a support for the production of the vaccine not only in Indian markets but for other countries too and we have achieved certain agreements with the leading companies," he informed.

Earlier, Indian Health Ministry had also said that India was in conversation with Russia on lines of Sputnik-V covid-19 vaccine.

"As far as Sputnik-5 vaccine is concerned, India and Russia are in communication. Some initial information has been shared," said said Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Union Health Ministry.

Russia had recently registered its Sputnik V vaccine and is now in the phase III trial of the vaccine, which involved more than 40,000 people at more than 45 medical centres around Russia, the TASS news agency reported earlier.

According to an earlier report, Russia has looking for a partnership with India for producing Covid-19 vaccine.

Dubbed as Sputnik V, the vaccine is developed by Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian defence ministry. Russia registered the vaccine after less than two months of human testing.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine induced an antibody response in all participants in early trials and found no serious adverse effects, according to the first peer-reviewed data on studies of the project.

The vaccine also produced a response in T-cells -- a type of white blood cell that helps the immune system destroy infection -- according to preliminary results from phase 1 and 2 trials that were published Friday in the Lancet medical journal. Russian officials had previously made broadly similar claims about the shot, prior to review by outside experts.

The trials, which took place in two Russian hospitals and involved 76 healthy adults aged 18 to 60, used a two-part vaccine with two different human adenoviruses -- pathogens linked to the common cold -- to transport the antigen into the body. All participants were given the vaccine, with no control group -- one of several limitations to the trials that were cited in the report.

The investigators took convalescent plasma from 4,817 people who had recovered from mild or moderate Covid-19 to compare post-vaccination immunity with natural immunity. Antibody responses were higher in those vaccinated, according to the data.

Moreover, a phase 3 trial was approved on August 26 for 40,000 volunteers from different age and risk groups.

“The immunogenicity bodes well, although nothing can be inferred on immunogenicity in older age groups, and clinical efficacy for any Covid-19 vaccine has not yet been shown," said Naor Bar-Zeev, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in a linked commentary in The Lancet. “Showing safety will be crucial with Covid-19 vaccines, not only for vaccine acceptance but also for trust in vaccination broadly."

With inputs from agencies

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