Indian group manufactures 200 million doses of Sputnik in Russian

Sputnik V coronavirus vaccines were unloaded at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport in February. (AP photo)

A Russian coronavirus vaccine supporter, Sputnik V, said on Monday that he has signed an agreement with an India-based pharmaceutical giant to produce up to 200 million doses of the vaccine annually.

Russia’s Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, said in a statement that it has partnered with Virchow Group to produce up to 200 million doses of the dual-dose vaccine in India every year.

It added that Virchow Biotech, a subsidiary of the Virchow Group, is expected to begin large-scale commercial production in the first half of 2021.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of RDIF, said the agreement was “an important step to facilitate large-scale domestic production” of Sputnik V in India and to supply partners around the world.

Last week, the RDIF announced a production agreement for at least 200 million doses of Sputnik with another Indian pharmaceutical company – Stelis Biopharma.

According to the RDIF, the Russian vaccine, named after the Soviet-era satellite, has been registered in 54 countries.

Moscow registered the vaccine in August ahead of large-scale clinical trials, but leading medical journal The Lancet has since said it is more than 90% safe and effective.

Some Western countries have been wary of Sputnik due to concerns that the Kremlin is using it as a soft power tool to advance their interests.

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