Russia goals at $20-dollar vaccine in India by January

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 24

The cost of one dose of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine for international markets will be less than $10 (less than Rs 700), announced Krill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, at a webinar on Tuesday

Sputnik V is a two-dose vaccine. This means the two-shot course will cost around Rs 1,400. This means the price at the launch will be two or more times cheaper than mRNA vaccines with similar efficacy levels, claimed Dmitriev.

However, Sputnik V will be given free of charge for Russian citizens.

RDIF and partners have launched production of the lyophilized (dry) form of the vaccine, which is stored at a temperature of +2 to +8 degrees Celsius. Such a regime enables the distribution of the vaccine in international markets, as well as expanding its use in hard-to-reach regions, including areas with tropical climates.

The current agreements between RDIF and leading foreign pharmaceutical companies allow the Sputnik V vaccine to be produced abroad for 500 million people per year, starting from 2021. RDIF is currently considering additional applications from a number of countries and companies to further increase production capacity.

The first international deliveries of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine will be made to customers in January 2021 based on the existing partnerships with foreign manufacturers. Those customers, who have recently submitted their requests, will be able to receive the first batches of the vaccine starting from March 2021.

The second interim analysis of clinical trial data showed a 91.4% efficacy for the Sputnik V vaccine on day 28 after the first dose; vaccine efficacy is over 95 per cent 42 days after the first dose, said its makers Gamaleya Institute.  

Currently, 40,000 volunteers are taking part in the Phase III double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical post-registration study of the Sputnik V vaccine in Russia, of whom more than 22,000 volunteers were vaccinated with the first dose and more than 19,000 volunteers with the first and second doses.

There were no unexpected adverse events during the trials. Monitoring of the participants is ongoing.

The Sputnik V vaccine is based on a human adenoviral vector platform that has seen more than 250 clinical trials globally conducted during the past two decades. The Russian vaccine uses two different human adenoviral vectors which allows for a stronger and longer-term immune response as compared to the vaccines using one and the same vector for two doses.

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