Coronavirus | Indian firms seek details of Russian vaccine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said there are three COVID vaccines under development within the country.

Indian companies have sought technical details on the trials of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine from the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for possible production in India, an Indian Embassy source in Moscow said.

Separately, in an interview to Russian state media Sputnik, Indian Envoy in Moscow D.B. Venkatesh Varma said, “I had a productive discussion with CEO of RDIF, Mr. Kirill Dmitriev, and we are hopeful of positive outcome.”

Last Tuesday, Russia became the first country to officially register a coronavirus vaccine and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that one of his daughters had also been inoculated.

“Indian companies are in touch with RDIF regarding vaccines and have asked for technical details about Phase I and Phase II trials of the vaccine and also for production of vaccines in India for third country exports and production of vaccines for use in India after regulatory clearances,” an Indian Embassy source in Moscow said.

Addressing the nation from the Red Fort on Independence Day earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said there are three COVID vaccines under development within the country and India will start mass production of vaccines once scientists give the go ahead. Indian biotech companies have also tied up with leading global vaccine makers for mass producing the vaccine.

“We hope that a vaccine will come up not only in Russia, but in India too, and that too will provide an opportunity for collaboration,” Mr. Varma told RBC TV in Russia ahead of Independence Day. There is already collaboration between Indian and Russian pharmaceutical companies Mr. Varma noted adding that are watching very closely the advances that Russia has been making in the production of vaccine and “there is a large scope for cooperation between Russia and India.”

India, a leader in the pharma sector, and supplier of low cost vaccines to the whole world, has the capacities to quickly scale up production of any vaccine for quick availability on a large scale at affordable prices to fight the pandemic.

As Russia saw a huge surge in COVID-19 cases, India had supplied more than 90 tonnes of medical supplies to Russia including hydroxychloroquinone.

With inputs from The Hindu