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India becomes 60th country to authorize use of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine

India has granted emergency use authorization for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, shortly after overtaking Brazil to become the world’s second-most affected country by the coronavirus. The move, announced Tuesday by the Drug Controller General of India, makes India the 60th and most populous country to adopt the shot. Sputnik V is now approved for use across a total population of 3 billion people, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund.

“Approval of the vaccine is a major milestone as Russia and India have been developing an extensive cooperation on clinical trials of Sputnik V in India and its local production,” RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said in a statement. The deal includes partnerships between RDIF and some of India’s pharmaceutical companies to produce “over 850 million doses” of Sputnik V in India annually, meaning enough of the two-shot vaccine for 425 million people, Dmitriev said.

India on Tuesday reported more than 161,736 new Covid cases — the eighth straight day that more than 100,000 infections were registered. The country of 1.3 billion has now had more than 13.87 million total confirmed cases and over 172,000 deaths. Sputnik V joins two other vaccines to become the third authorized for use in India.

At less than $10 a shot, the relatively low-cost vaccine touted by Russia’s leadership has rapidly gained approval in developing countries as many regions experience second and third waves of the virus. Among the countries that have approved it for use are Argentina, Bolivia, Serbia, Hungary, the UAE, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Myanmar, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, the Republic of the Congo, Vietnam and the Philippines. Russia’s health authorities declared its efficacy rate at 91.6%.

India becomes 60th country to authorize use of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, CNBC, Apr 15

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