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Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine in India: All you need to know
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This story is from June 2, 2021
Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine in India: All you need to know

Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine in India: All you need to know

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NEW DELHI: Russia's Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V is first foreign vaccine to be approved in India after the approval of Serum's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.
India has received 56.6 tonnes of Sputnik doses - its biggest import consignment of Covid-19 vaccines.
This means a significant amount of Sputnik V vaccines are now available in India. Here is what you need to know about the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine:
About Sputnik V covid vaccine
  • Sputnik V has been developed by the Russian state institute Gamaleya National Research Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology.
  • Gamaleya had announced in May 2020 that it had developed a Covid vaccine that "does not have any side effects".
  • As many as 68 countries have authorized the Sputnik V vaccine.
  • Sputnik V is a lyophilized (dry) form of vaccine that makes it exporting to international markets easier due to simplified requirements of storage temperature (+2 - 8 degrees celsius).
  • Pregnant women are advised to avoid Sputnik V.


How does two-shot Sputnik V work?
  • The Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) is an adenoviral-based, two-part vaccine. Sputnik V uses a weakened virus to deliver small parts of a pathogen and stimulate an immune response.
  • Russian researchers extracted a fragment of genetic material from SARS-COV-2, which codes information about the structure of the spike S-protein. This protein forms the virus’ “crown” and is responsible for connection with human cells.
  • Researchers inserted spike S-protein into a familiar adenovirus vector for delivery into a human cell.
  • To ensure lasting immunity, Sputnik uses two different types of adenovirus vectors (rAd26 and rAd5) for the first and second vaccination, which is said to boost the effectiveness of the vaccine.
  • The use of human adenoviruses as vectors is safe because these viruses, which cause the common cold, are not novel and have been around for thousands of years, explains Gamaleya.
  • 'Vectors' are vehicles, which can induce a genetic material from another virus into a cell. The gene from adenovirus, which causes the infection, is removed while a gene with the code of a protein from another virus spike is inserted.
  • This inserted element is safe for the body but still helps the immune system to react and produce antibodies, which protect us from infection.
  • The technological platform of adenovirus-based vectors makes it easier and faster to create new vaccines through modifying the initial carrier vector with genetic material from new emerging viruses that help to create new vaccines in a relatively short time.
  • Human adenoviruses are considered as some of the easiest to engineer in this way and they also become popular as vectors.


What is Sputnik V's efficacy?
  • As per a February 2021 peer-reviewed article published in The Lancet, the Sputnik V phase 3 trial showed 91.6 per cent efficacy against Covid-19.
  • The vaccine was well tolerated in a large cohort. A follow-up Lancet article published in May 2021 stated that the reporting of the interim analysis in the phase 3 Sputnik V clinical trial fully complied with established standards.
  • The efficacy evaluation was carried out among 18,794 volunteers on the 28th day after receiving the first injection (the 7th day after receiving second shot) or placebo upon reaching the second checkpoint following the Clinical Study Protocol.
  • Based on the analysis, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) announced Sputnik V efficacy at 95 per cent.
How much will Sputnik V cost?
  • A single dose of the Sputnik V vaccine costs less than $10 in the international market which means two doses will cost $20 per person.
  • In India, Sputnik V is expected to cost anywhere around Rs 948 per dose. With 5 per cent GST, the cost could increase to Rs 995.40 per dose. This means two shots would cost around Rs 1,990 to Rs 2,000 per person.
  • However, a reduction in prices can be expected once Sputnik V manufacturing begins in India.
  • The indigenous Covid-19 vaccines—Covaxin and Covishield —are currently cheaper than Sputnik V. Bharat Biotech's Covaxin is sold at Rs 400 per dose to state governments and at Rs 1,200 per dose to private hospitals.
  • AstraZeneca's Covishield is sold at Rs 300 per dose for state governments while it is sold at Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals.
What is Sputnik Light?
  • The Sputnik Light can become the first single-dose vaccine to be launched in India. It has already been approved and trials are already started in some other countries.
  • Sputnik Light can be useful to boost India's requirement and target to increase maximum vaccination drive.
  • Twenty-eight days after vaccination Sputnik Light vaccine was 79.4 per cent effective against the coronavirus.
  • The trials were focused only on Russians who were not administered the second dose.
  • Phase 3 clinical trials, involved 7,000 people and were conducted in countries Russia, the UAE, and Ghana.

(With inputs from agencies)
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