Amid the raging second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India, the country will start receiving consignments of Russian Sputnik V vaccine doses from May 1 onwards.
India is expected to receive 5 million doses of the vaccine by June.
According to media reports, around 150,000 to 200,000 doses of the vaccine will be delivered by early May and another 3 million doses by May end.
After Covishield and Covaxin, Sputnik V, developed by Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, is the third Covid-19 vaccine to get emergency use approval in India.
According to the guidelines, the vaccine is indicated for active immunisation to prevent Covid-19 in individuals over 18 years of age and it needs to be stored at a temperature of minus 18-degree Celsius in liquid form.
However, it can be stored at 2-8-degree Celsius in its freeze-dried form in a conventional refrigerator, making it easier to transport and store.
In a recent study, published in the journal The Lancet, the efficacy of Sputnik V was determined to be 91.6 per cent.
“There is a need to generate evidence about its efficacy in the Indian population. Sputnik V will provide one more option to the country to boost its vaccination drive,” Harshal R Salve, associate professor at the Centre for Community Medicine, AIIMS Delhi, had earlier told IANS.
The vaccine should be administered in two doses of 0.5 ml each with an interval of 21 days.
While speaking to IANS recently, N.K. Arora from the Indian Council of Medical Research said that the composition of the first dose will be different from the second dose and there should be at least a three to four weeks gap between the first and the second shot.