Drug regulator okays single-dose Sputnik Light for restricted use

The Indian drug regulator on Sunday granted emergency use permission to Russia’s single-dose Sputnik Light Covid vaccine in the country – adding to the arsenal of shots approved for use against the pandemic in the country.

Sputnik Light is the ninth vaccine to be granted restricted-use approval by the Drugs Controller General of India for adults in India. “This will further strengthen the nation’s collective fight against the pandemic,” Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted.

Developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Center, Sputnik Light is built on a human adenovirus vector platform – when instructions are sent through a proxy and a harmless virus to trigger an immune reaction.

Sputnik Light is the same as component-1 of the Russian two-dose Sputnik V vaccine that has been used in India’s vaccination drive. India has administered close to 12 lakh doses of Sputnik V in the vaccination drive so far.

The decision comes days after the subject expert panel on vaccines recommended DCGI to grant emergency use authorisation (EUA) to Russia’s Sputnik Light, sources said on Friday.

According to the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which backs and funds Sputnik, the single-shot vaccine demonstrated around 70 per cent efficacy against infection by the Delta variant.

It can be effective as a booster dose against the Omicron variant, RDIF recently announced. “A preliminary study of the Gamaleya Center has found Sputnik Light significantly increases virus neutralising activity against Omicron based on sera 2-3 months after revaccination with 100% of individuals revaccinated with Sputnik Light as a booster having developed neutralizing antibodies against this variant,” RDIF had said.

On Sunday, RDIF’s head Kirill Dmitriev reiterated in a statement that Sputnik Light can be the “the solution to increase efficacy and duration of other vaccines, including against Omicron variant”.

(With agency inputs)

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