New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a big push to India's vaccination drive against the novel coronavirus, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) on Tuesday morning granted permission to Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V for restricted emergency use in the country, claimed Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

"India, the world’s 2nd most populous nation, became the 60th country to register Sputnik V after positive results of local Phase 3 clinical study. Sputnik V is now authorized in 60 countries with population of over 3 billion people," the RDIF said in a Tweet.

This comes a day after the expert committee of the DCGI gave its nod to Sputnik V, paving the way for a third vaccine to be available in India against the contagious coronavirus. The DCGI had granted its approval to Serum Institute of India's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin on January 16, allowing India to launch the world largest vaccination drive against COVD-19.

Sputnik V, which is named after world's first artificial Earth satellite Sputnik 1, has been developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. It will be locally produced by Dr Reddy's Laboratories.

Government sources, quoted by news agency PTI, have said that India will procure around 10 crore doses of the Sputnik V vaccine in the next six to seven months.

The Sputnik V has an efficiay rate of 91.6 per cent which is the highest after Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. It is administered in two doses of 0.5 ml each with an interval of 21 days and should be stored at minus 18 degrees Celsius.

The DCGI nod to Sputnik V is a huge boost to India which is running the world largest inoculation drive against COVID-19. Reports suggest that the government might also allow four other vaccines for restricted use in India to ramp up the vaccination drive.

So far, the novel coronavirus has infected over 1.35 crore in India and claimed more than 1.68 lakh lives. India has also been hit by the second wave of coronavirus pandemic that has led to rise in active cases. The country's recovery rate has also dropped to 89.86 per cent due to the sudden spike.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma