Covid-19 vaccine: After single-shot nod, Dr Reddy’s looks to launch Sputnik Light as a booster dose

The two-dose Sputnik V vaccine is already part of the national Covid-19 vaccination programme with 12.11 lakh doses administered so far.

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories said it was looking at introducing the Sputnik Light Covid-19 vaccine as a booster dose in the country. “The current restricted use in emergency approval to Sputnik Light is for the single-shot standalone vaccine. Our efforts to seek approval for Sputnik Light as a precautionary dose/booster are currently underway,” a company spokesperson said. 

The company said it was looking at getting approval for the Sputnik Light as a booster dose. Dr Reddy’s said it had adequate visibility of manufacturing and supply of the vaccine. The vaccine pricing would be announcing it soon. The single-shot Sputnik would also benefit the unvaccinated population. Around 26% of the population in the country is yet to be vaccinated, including children, below 15.

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories had on Sunday received emergency use authorisation from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for the single-shot Sputnik Light vaccine in India. Union health minister, Mansukh Mandaviya said this was the ninth Covid-19 vaccine in the country and it would further strengthen the nation’s fight against the pandemic.

The two-dose Sputnik V vaccine is already part of the national Covid-19 vaccination programme with 12.11 lakh doses administered so far in the country. A shortage of the second dose of the Sputnik V vaccine had led to its lower share in the Covid-19 vaccination programme of the country. Around 144.50 crore doses of Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and 25.06 crore doses of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin have been administered so far in the country. The country has fully vaccinated 77.11% of the eligible population with two doses till Monday. In addition, 1.45 crore precautionary vaccine doses have been administered.

Sputnik Light is a single-dose vaccine and the same as the first component of the two-dose Sputnik V vaccine, which is a recombinant human adenovirus serotype number 26 (rAd26).

Following its Phase III clinical trial of the single-shot Sputnik Light vaccine in India, Dr Reddy’s had submitted its application for approval to the DCGI in December 2021. This was in addition to data from a clinical trial in Russia.

Dr Reddy’s entered into a partnership with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) in 2020 to conduct clinical trials of Sputnik V and distribute the vaccine in India. In April 2021, the DCGI approved the two-dose Sputnik V vaccine for restricted use in an emergency in India.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the RDIF, said Sputnik Light had proven to be safe and effective both as a standalone vaccine and a universal booster shot to vaccines of other producers, helping to induce a stronger immune response as compared to two shots of the same vaccine.

“The heterologous boosting approach using Sputnik Light is the solution to increase efficacy and duration of other vaccines, including against Omicron variant,” Dmitriev said.

Sputnik Light has been approved in 30 countries around the world, including Argentina, UAE, the Philippines and Russia. According to Dr Reddy’s, Sputnik V has demonstrated strong protection against the Omicron variant, with over two times higher virus neutralising activity compared to the Pfizer vaccine.

A study by the Gamaleya Center had demonstrated that the Sputnik V induced robust neutralising antibody response to the Omicron variant. This antibody response was strengthened further by the Sputnik Light booster dose, the study said.

Covid-19 vaccine: After single-shot nod, Dr Reddy’s looks to launch Sputnik Light as a booster dose Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

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