New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: With India battling hard against the second wave of coronavirus pandemic, the central government might soon give emergency nod approval to Russia's Sputnik V vaccine. According to a report by news agency ANI, the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine will likely get a nod in the next 10 days as the central government is planning to ramp up the inoculation drive in the country.

The report, quoting government sources, also said that India will have five more COVID-19 vaccines -- Sputnik V, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, Zydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech's Intranasal -- by the end of October.

Currently, Serum Institue of India's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin are the only COVID-19 vaccines in India. The two were given nod by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on January 16.

"Sputnik is expected to be available latest by June, if all goes well Johnson and Johnson ( Bio E) will be available by August, Cadilla Zydus will also be available by August, Novavex (Serum) by September and Nasal Vaccine (Bharat) by October," ANI quoted government sources as saying.

"Safety and efficacy are the Union government's primary concerns while granting emergency use authorisation (EUA) to any COVID-19 vaccine in the country," the sources added.

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has tied up with a host of Indian pharmaceutical players such as Hyderabad based Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Hetero Biopharma, Gland Pharma, Stelis Biopharma and Vichrow Biotech for the production of vaccine doses. With a production capacity of 850 million doses in the country, Sputnik V will provide a major shot in the arm in the fight against COVID-19.

The sources told ANI that the government is making all efforts to accelerate the progress without cutting any corners in research, development, and clinical trial stages.

They said that the government is taking all steps to augment vaccine production and availability in India, adding that a decision has been taken at the highest level to ensure all steps are taken to help domestic manufacturers to scale up vaccine production manifold.

"The Government of India is determined to ensure India remains the pharmacy of the world and Indians have equitable access to the highest quality vaccines in the world. We encourage all COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to come to India, as the Central Government is ready to provide manufacturing assistance, financial support, and partnership in running and designing clinical trials," sources added.

(With inputs from ANI)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma