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Home >News >India >Hope to bring single-shot Sputnik V Light Covid vaccine in India soon: RDIF CEO

As drug firm Dr Reddy's Laboratories launched Russia's Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V in the Indian market earlier today, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) CEO Kirill Dmitriev said that Russia expects to produce more than 850 million doses of the vaccine in India this year.

Russia had also said that it expects the second batch of its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine to be delivered to India by the end of the week.

"Inoculations with Sputnik V in Hyderabad today followed the arrival of the first batch of the vaccine in India on May 1," the RDIF said in a statement. "The second batch of Sputnik V is expected to arrive in India by the end of the week," according to a Reuters report.

Moreover, speaking at a virtual conference, Dmitriev also added, "We hope for the introduction of Sputnik V Lite in India soon," as reported bynews agency ANI. Sputnik V Light is a single Covid-19 dose vaccine, making it the first such jab available in India. The other single-shot vaccine currently available in the global market is Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 jab.

Meanwhile, Dr Reddy's, in its earning calls earlier today said that it expects to get 36 million doses of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in the next couple of months under its contract with RDIF.

"We are in discussions with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to import the vaccine towards the end of May," a senior Dr. Reddy's executive said on a post-earnings press conference.

"Our total commitment contracted from RDIF is 250 million doses, of which the initial 15%-20% is expected through imports," the executive, M V Ramana, added.

The company expects to use the doses to vaccinate 125 million people in the next 8-12 months. As of Friday, India had vaccinated just over 2.9% of its population of about 1.35 billion, according to government data.

Sputnik V is a two-dose shot that has been found to be 91.6% effective in preventing people from developing COVID-19, a higher efficacy rate than the two vaccines currently approved in India.

Earlier in the day, Dr. Reddy's said the first dose of Sputnik V was administered in Hyderabad as part of a limited pilot. The vaccine will be priced at RS 995 per dose.

The company is also working with six local manufacturing partners to scale up production, with doses for commercial use expected from July.

The drugmaker on Friday reported a 27.6% drop in fourth-quarter consolidated net profit, compared with a year earlier. Revenue, however, rose 6.7%.

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