India receives first consignment of Sputnik V Covid vaccine from Russia

A vial of the Sputnik V vaccine | Photographer: Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg
A vial of the Sputnik V vaccine | Photographer: Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg file photo

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New Delhi: India on Saturday received the first consignment of Russia’s SputnikV COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).

The CBIC in a tweet said that Hyderabad customs expedited the clearance of the COVID-19 vaccine imported from Russia.

“Hyderabad Customs, @cgstcushyd facilitated expeditious clearance of #SputnikV Vaccine imported from Russia, the CBIC tweeted.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in tweet said: “Appropriate timely response @cgstcushyd. Need of the hour.”

The government last month allowed emergency use of imported vaccines to curb the spread of coronavirus infection and waived customs duty on their imports. It has also allowed citizens over the age of 18 years to receive Covid-19 vaccinations beginning May 1.

On August 11, 2020, Russia became the world’s first country to register a coronavirus vaccine, dubbed as SputnikV.

Following that, in September, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) entered into a partnership to conduct clinical trials of SputnikV, which is developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has already received approval from the Indian drug regulator for restricted emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine SputnikV.

Currently, India is administering two Covid vaccines. While Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine Covishield is being manufactured by the Serum Institute, the indigenously developed Covaxin is being manufactured by Bharat Biotech.

India reported a record over 4.01 lakh new Covid infections and 3,523 deaths on Saturday.

Also read: Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine with over 91% efficacy recommended for emergency use in India


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