Sputnik V, a Russian spacecraft, is said to have hit a snag in the development of the second dose of its Covid-19 vaccine in India. According to official sources, the Russian vaccine manufacturer is having trouble creating the second component (AD5) of the adenovirus vector-based vaccine.
According to government sources, a team of Russian specialists visited India for nearly a month to work out the technical issues that domestic producers are having producing AD5. According to sources, the second component of the vaccine is more difficult to make because it is based on an adenovirus vector.
Unlike other vaccinations that employ the same dose composition for the first and second shots, Sputnik V’s Covid vaccine contains two separate components: two types of adenovirus vectors (rAd26) for the first shot and (rAd5) for the second vaccination. While Ad26 is the primary vaccine, Ad5 is a booster dose given 21 days or three weeks after Ad26.Because the yield (or quality of virus that can be generated in a cell culture) of the second dose (AD5) is low, it takes a long time to make it. The quantity of doses produced is low if the yield is poor.
Production concerns have hampered the supply of vaccine doses for the Indian government’s goal of vaccinating everyone over the age of 18 by December 2021. The estimated doses expected from Sputnik V between August and December 2021 were calculated at 10 crore in a Supreme Court affidavit on vaccination dosages filed by the central government. The ministry reduced its expectation from an earlier estimate of 15.6 crore Sputnik V vaccination doses for August to December 2021. The estimated estimate was for 216 crore doses until December, but VK Paul, Niti Aayog member (health), said in a July 2 news conference, “The government’s plan of 216 crore doses is an optimistic one, which was made on banking on the “reputation” of the government.”
According to data on the Co-Win platform, 4, 44,638 doses of Sputnik V vaccination have been administered in India to date. This week, the second dosage of the Sputnik V vaccine would be administered at India’s vaccination centres and select hospitals.