A deal was signed between the world's largest vaccine manufacturer Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Serum Institute of India (SII) to increase the pace of the ongoing vaccination campaign against coronavirus in India. Under the deal, SII will now start manufacturing Russia's Sputnik vaccine from September.

On Tuesday, RDIF said that Serum Institute will start production of Sputnik Vaccine at its plants from September. The first batch of Sputnik vaccine is expected to be ready in September at SII's plants. For this, the process of technology transfer has already started.

"Various parties in India want to produce more than 300 million doses of Sputnik-V vaccine every year,' RDIF said in a statement.

As part of the technology transfer process, SII has already received cell and vector samples from the Gamaleya Center, which developed the Sputnik V jab. After the approval by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), the cultivation process has begun.

"RDIF is delighted to cooperate with Serum Institute of India, the world`s largest vaccine manufacturer. This strategic partnership is a major step to substantially increase our production capabilities demonstrating a perfect example of joining forces and expertise to save lives both in India and around the world. With technology transfer underway we expect the first batches of the vaccine to be produced jointly with SII in coming months," said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, in a statement.

Sputnik V was registered in India under the emergency use authorisation procedure on April 12 and vaccination against coronavirus with the Russian vaccine started on May 14. It was the third vaccine to be cleared for immunisation programme in India after Covaxin and Covishield.

Notably, the Pune-based Serum Institute is manufacturing Covishield and Covax. Apart from this, the trial of Codagenix is ​​also being done in the UK.

As per the data from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, till 7 am on July 13, 38,14,67,646 doses have been given in the country. Of these, the number of first doses is 30,66,12,781. While 7,48,54,865 people have taken both doses of the vaccine.

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