360 million Indians to get Sputnik V jabs by March 2022 

New Delhi Written By: Sidhant SibalUpdated: May 09, 2021, 09:46 AM IST

Russia's Sputnik V Covid vaccine (file photo) Photograph:(Reuters)

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In total, India gets 18 million doses of Sputnik V, three million in May, five million in June and 10 million in July

An estimated 360 million Indians will get Russian covid vaccine Sputnik V's by the end of March 2022 as India will have approximately 361 million doses of vaccine, officials coordinating the entire vaccine measure in the country have said. 

On May 1, India got the first consignment of 1.5 million doses of the vaccine, and second consignment will also reach soon. In total, India gets 18 million doses of Sputnik V, three million in May, five million in June and 10 million in July.

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is the Russian sovereign wealth fund that has funded the vaccine, has signed pacts with five Indian companies to produce 850 million doses. The doses will not only be produced in India but also, exported to third country. Between June 2021 to March 2022, around 238 million doses will be produced in the country. India also expected to get 11 million doses in form of fill and finish. 

Sputnik V vaccine is the third Covid vaccine after Covishield and Covaxin that Indian regulatory authorities have given approval to. More than 60 countries have given approval to Sputnik V and as of May 5, more than 20 million people globally have received the first injection of the Sputnik V vaccine. Interestingly, a combination of vaccines like Sputnik and AstraZeneca for use is being talked about. 

With the announcement of Russia's single-dose Covid vaccine Sputnik Light, the volume of the vaccines, which is a variant of Sputnik V is expected to increase. Sputnik Light will also be produced in India."It will be produced in exactly the same countries where Sputnik V will be produced. So, it's India, Korea, and China," said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian direct investment Fund (RDIF) told reporters last week in a virtual presser. 

And it is just not that Sputnik V in the focus, India is looking at Moderna and the Quad Vaccine initiative under which vaccines will be produced in the country. When it comes to constraints for raw material for vaccines from the US, the issue has been resolved with Washington making an announcement on it days ago. 

But perhaps the biggest breakthrough has been the US extending support to the proposal for waiver of intellectual property rights on Covid vaccines. Being termed as something that will make a 'huge difference' on the ground, it will help in the production of Covid vaccines at a huge scale as removes legal impediments. For example, India's Serum Institute can make vaccines under the licence by AstraZeneca, and these vaccines can’t be exported to some geographic areas. The matter was raised by PM Modi with US President during their talks on April 26. According to officials, the Indian PM had told President Biden that it is an opportunity to make a difference.