After Dr Reddy’s Lab, Zydus Cadila is reportedly in talks with Russia for its COVID-19 vaccine despite concerns over its safety

BCCL
  • Zydus Cadila is reportedly in talks to buy the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V for Indian consumers.
  • The move comes two days after Dr. Reddy’s partnered with the Russian Direct Invest Fund to get 100 million doses of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Scientists across the world have been criticising Russia for rushing the trials of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • According to Russian health minister Mikhail Murashko, one in seven volunteers had side effects after they had a shot of Sputnik V.
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After Dr Reddy’s Lab, Zydus Cadila is in talks with the Russian coronavirus vaccine to buy Sputnik V vaccine for Indian consumers, Financial Express reported citing sources.

Zydus Cadila is already working on its own COVID-19 vaccine and is now planning to get permission for Phase-3 approvals.

The move comes two days after the Russian Direct Investment Fund said that it is collaborating with Dr Reddy's Laboratories to conduct clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19.

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Under this collaboration, RDIF is going to sell 100 million doses of Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V. The deliveries could begin as early as November 2020 after the registration of the vaccine by regulatory authorities in India if all goes well, the RDIF said.

Sputnik V: Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine
Sputnik V, an adenovirus vector-based vaccine, was developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, along with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and registered on August 11. It is under post-registration clinical trials involving 40,000 volunteers. The first results of these trials are expected to be published in October-November 2020, the RDIF said in its statement.

Earlier this month, a research paper on the results of Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine was published in The Lancet, demonstrating no serious adverse effects and a stable immune response in participants.
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Russia’ COVID-19 vaccine under fire over safety concerns
However, researchers are severely criticising Sputnik V over safety concerns. According to Russian health minister Mikhail Murashko, one in seven volunteers had side effects after they had a shot of Sputnik V.

“Approximately 14% have small complaints of weakness, muscle pain for 24 hours and an occasional increase in body temperature,” reported Russian Agency TASS quoting Murashko.

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Scientists across the world believe that the decision to fast-track vaccines with testing in small groups with few participants is dangerously rushed.

“This is a reckless and foolish decision. Mass vaccination with an improperly tested vaccine is unethical. Any problem with the Russian vaccination campaign would be disastrous both through its negative effects on health, but also because it would further set back the acceptance of vaccines in the population,” Francois Balloux, a geneticist at University College London, had previously said.


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