The Serum Institute of India (SII) has applied to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) seeking permission for a test license to manufacture Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V. It is the third vaccine to be approved by India’s drugs regulator after AstraZeneca’s Covishield – manufactured by SII – and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
Russia-made Sputnik V vaccine is currently being distributed in India by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.
The SII has already told the government that it will be able to manufacture and supply 10 crore Covishield doses in June, while it is also manufacturing the Novavax vaccine, the regulatory clearance for which is awaited from the United States.
A consignment of 30 lakh doses of Sputnik V landed in Hyderabad on Tuesday.
The Union health ministry has, meanwhile, finalised arrangements with Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer Biological-E to book 30 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses, set to be manufactured and stockpiled from August to December this year.
As per a health ministry statement on Thursday, an advance payment of ₹1,500 crore will be made to Biological-E from the Centre.
This will be the second made-in-India vaccine after Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
Biological-E’s Covid-19 vaccine, an RBD protein sub-unit vaccine, is currently undergoing Phase-3 clinical trials.
This latest SII development comes after central government’s recent statement that vaccine development and manufacturing will be accelerated in the country. On Tuesday, the chief of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Dr Balram Bhargava said the India will have enough vaccines by mid-July to ealry August to inoculate 1 crore people everyday. He also said that everyone in the country will be vaccinated by year-end.
As per the union health ministry, as many as 22,10,43,693 doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in the country so far.