COVID 19 Sputnik-V shipments expected to arrive today as India plans a comeback

Sputnik-V shipments expected to arrive today as India plans a comeback

India plans a comeback amid Sputnik-V shipments expected to arrive today

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India — India is set to receive its first doses of Sputnik-V, the Russian-made vaccine against the coronavirus disease, on Saturday as Covid-19 cases and deaths have surged in the country and more than 300,000 new infections have been reported daily for nine days in a row. Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) which is marketing Sputnik V globally, said earlier this week that the first doses of the vaccine will arrive on Saturday.

“The first doses will be delivered on May 1,” Dmitriev was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters. However, he did not say how many vaccines would be in the first batch or where they would be made. He hoped that the Russian-made vaccine would help India mitigate the crisis spurred by the second wave of Covid-19.

The consignment of the Sputnik-V, which was approved by an expert panel earlier this month, will bolster India’s response to the pandemic as several states have raised the issue of vaccine shortage which has forced them to make alterations to their vaccination plans. Sputnik-V will soon join India’s vaccination program and it is expected that this will help the country make a comeback in its fight against the pandemic. India on Saturday began vaccinating people aged above 18 years in phase III of its vaccination drive.

The RDIF has signed agreements with five leading domestic manufacturers for over 850 million doses earlier this year. It has also set the target of producing more than 50 million doses a month by the summer in India. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Russian president Vladimir Putin and discussed how Sputnik-V was an effective tool in fighting Covid-19.

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Turkey, Chile and Albania were the latest to join 60 other countries who have approved Sputnik-V. Several experts say that the Sputnik-V vaccine, which was met with scepticism following its launch, is a ‘scientific and political win’ for Putin and Russia. The Gamaleya Research Centre, makers of Sputnik-V, have often claimed that the vaccine is the world’s best Covid-19 vaccine.

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