India in talks with Russia regarding Sputnik-V covid-19 vaccine: Health ministry3 min read . Updated: 25 Aug 2020, 08:46 PM IST
'As far as Sputnik-5 vaccine is concerned, India and Russia are in communication. Some initial information have been shared,' Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Union health ministry said in a press conference
India is in conversation with Russia regarding later’s Sputnik-V covid-19 vaccine, union health ministry said on Tuesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently launched the vaccine announcing that his country has developed the world's first vaccine against covid-19, which is effective and forms a stable immunity against covid-19.
“As far as Sputnik-5 vaccine is concerned, India and Russia are in communication. Some initial information have been shared," Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Union health ministry said in a press conference.
Sputnik V has been developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in association with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
The vaccine is currently under Phase 3 clinical trials. According to researchers, the Sputnik V vaccine has two shots which use different versions of adenoviruses (types of virus). Some adenoviruses causing common cold have been engineered to carry the gene for the surface protein of SARS-CoV-2 causing covid-19.
Nikolay Kudashev, ambassador of the Russian Federation, to the Republic of India, also on Tuesday tweeted “Discussed certain aspects of traditional bilateral cooperation in the field of public health with Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology @DBTIndia, GoI." However, he did not mention anything specific to vaccine.
Russian officials also recently said that Russia is looking for a partnership with India for producing Covid-19 vaccine. Also, the earlier Indian Medical Research Institute (ICMR) also said that Russia has fast tracked a vaccine which has been successful in its early phases, Director General Balram Bharghav of the country’s apex biomedical agency said on a positive note. Union health ministry also indicated that the government’s expert group on vaccines is also considering procuring the Russian vaccine looking at efficacy, costs and delivery.
Talking about vaccines being developed in India, Bhargava on Tuesday said that 1700 patients are to be studied in Phase 2B/Phase 3 clinical trials of the vaccine being conducted by Serum Institute. As of now, three vaccines are in progress and three more are in pre-clinical stage, he said.
As India is aggressively working on vaccine trials and strategy for mass vaccination against the highly infectious disease, the number of cases continue to rise. India as on Tuesday recorded over 3188018 covid-19 cases. The disease has claimed also claimed over 58082 lives when the pharmaceutical
Companies across the world are in a race to develop a covid-19 vaccine.
The health ministry said that a study of the critical cases show 2.70% patients are on oxygen support, 1.92% are in ICU, while 0.29% patients are on ventilator support, out of the total active cases. This apart, analysis of deaths show, 51% of deaths occurred in 60 years and above age group, 36% deaths in the 45-60 years age group, 11% between 26-44 years, 1% in 18-25 years age group and 1% covid-19 related deaths occurred to those aged below 17.
The data shows that people with comorbidities and elderly are at high risk. An analysis on the basis of gender shows 31% of the deaths occurred to female patients, while 69% to males, the health ministry said. The government has already said whenever a vaccine is available, the high risk population will be firstly covered.
ICMR also said that it has embarked on the second round of national sero-survey which may be completed by the first week of September for having an idea about the situation of pandemic In the country.
“Sero-surveys guide us about what phase of the epidemic is prevailing at a particular area and thereby helping policy makers to decide on what should be the public health response," said Bhargav.
“Most of the sero-surveys are being conducted by the states and the reports are shared with the ICMR. Neutralizing however, Antibodies, T-Cell responses etc. are not being studied in these large sero-surveys that indicate immunity ," he said.