Amid vaccine shortage, first lot of Sputnik V vaccines to land in India on May 1


New Delhi: The first lot of Sputnik V vaccines from Russia will arrive in India on Saturday. The rollout of the Russian vaccine is expected to augment India’s third phase of the vaccination drive which also begins tomorrow.

India is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases in the second wave of pandemic and is registering the highest daily deaths and positive cases. On top of it there is an acute shortage of vaccines which has crippled the speed of vaccination drive. Several major states in the country have already postponed the launch of the third phase of vaccination which makes everyone above 18 eligible to get the jab.

Sputnik V is the third vaccine India has given go-ahead to after ‘Covishield’, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and ‘Covaxin’, the indigenous vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech. Covishield is manufactured by Serum Institute of India.

The first tranche of vaccine is expected to arrive in Hyderabad tomorrow according to diplomatic sources
Indian envoy to Russia Bala Venkatesh Varma said India expects between 150,000 to 200,000 ready-made vaccines to be available very quickly in the early part of May.

Diplomatic sources told ANI that India will get a substantive number of vaccines in the first tranche and supply will continue in installments. India is expecting 5 million vials of Sputnik vaccines by next month.

CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev earlier told a TV news channel that Sputnik vaccines will be delivered to India on May 1. (ANI)