Russia’s Sputnik V, the third Covid vaccine to be cleared for use in India, is effective against mutant strains, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has said.
Sputnik V will be manufactured by five pharma firms in the country and 850 million doses will be produced in a year. Limited doses will be available by the end of April.
The Russian wealth fund RDIF’s CEO Kirill Dmitriev told NDTV Sputnik has the same effectiveness against the British strain as against many other variants and also the original virus.
Stating that Sputnik V makers were “very cognizant” of mutations, he said the vaccine was believed to be one of the best solutions against such variants and that would only become stronger going forward.
“Now we believe that the efficacy against the South Africa strain may be a little bit lower, but still protecting people from severe cases of COVID,” he said.
The effectiveness of Sputnik V on mutants is related to the fact that it is the only vaccine in the world to work on a “cocktail” of two different shots.
“…the reason we are so confident on mutations is that Sputnik is the only vaccine in the world it uses two different shots of the vaccine. So basically, it’s the result of having two different shots. We believe we produce higher immune response that lasts longer,” Dr Dmitriev said.
“This vaccine cocktail proves to work very effectively against mutations, but also very soon we’ll have a modification that will include all of the existing mutations in this sputnik V vaccine,” he added.
This, he said, would happen over the next couple of months.
In India, cases due to the UK, South Africa and Brazil variants have pushed up the tally over the past few months.
UK variants are seen in about 80 per cent of cases from Punjab.
A new double mutation has emerged in parts of the country and is seen in nearly 20 per cent of the cases in Maharashtra, the epicenter of India’s second surge.
The new variant was also found in samples taken from people in Delhi and Punjab, according to some experts.