As Indian ambassador to Russia DB Venkatesh Varma announced on Saturday that local production of the Sputnik-V vaccine will begin in August, diplomatic sources here said the two countries were looking at manufacturing anywhere between 35 to 40 million doses every month, starting August-September.
Elaborating on the remarks by the ambassador, sources said Russia will also send close to 18 million Sputnik doses - 3 million in May, 5 million next month and 10 million in July - before allowing transfer of technology in August for local production.
Overall, according to the ambassador, the agreement between Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Russian Direct Investment Fund will facilitate manufacturing of 850 million doses of Sputnik vaccine in India.
“More than 65-70 percent of the Sputnik vaccine produced anywhere in the world will be from India,” said Varma in an interaction with local journalists during a visit to St Petersburg.
He said the Russian side had also proposed Sputnik Light, a single-shot vaccine. “The regulatory approvals for that in India are still not completed. But once those regulatory approvals are given, then Sputnik Light will be one more area of cooperation between India and Russia,” he said.
Of the scheduled delivery of 3 million doses in May, Russia has so far provided 210,000 doses in 2 separate consignments.