India approves Sputnik Light booster against Covid-19 – Russia
India has given the green light to Sputnik Light, the single-shot variant of Russia’s pioneering vaccine against Covid-19, the country's sovereign wealth fund announced on Sunday. Sputnik Light can be used for stand-alone immunization or to boost immunity in those who already received Sputnik V or other vaccines.
The Drug Controller General of India approved the Russian shot, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) reported. The RDIF said India based its approval on Sputnik Light’s positive results from clinical trials conducted by Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, a leading Indian partner of RDIF.
India authorized the two-shot Sputnik V vaccine for use in April of last year.
The approval of the single-shot regimen is “an important decision not only for Russia and India, but for the entire world,” RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev said, commenting on the news. Several major pharmaceutical companies are already producing Sputnik vaccines, which exemplifies “genuine strategic partnership between India and Russia,” he said.
The Indian-made version of Sputnik Light will be available not only to the Indian population, but offered for export to people around the world, Dmitriev added.
With the inclusion of India, there are now more than 2.5 billion people living in over 30 countries who can use the Russian jab, according to RDIF. The list of nations that authorized it includes Argentina, Bahrain, UAE, San Marino, and the Philippines.
The head of the fund said interest in the Russian product had increased after a recent study in Italy, which showed that it offers a high level of protection from the Omicron strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The vaccine is also safe in terms of side effects, and simpler to both store and distribute, compared to some competing products that require maintaining a strict cold chain, Dmitriev added.