September 18, 2021

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

Supply crunch hits inclusion of Sputnik V in government vaccination drive

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Supply crunch hits inclusion of Sputnik V in government vaccination drive
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Supply crunch hits inclusion of Sputnik V in government vaccination drive
Supply crunch hits inclusion of Sputnik V in government vaccination drive

PUNE: National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation chairman Dr N K Arora told TOI that the Russian vaccine Sputnik V might not be able to enter government inoculation sites till its supply increases substantially.
Explaining the reason behind the delay in supply, Arora said, “Sputnik V uses two different adenoviruses as the viral vectors. The first shot contains adenovirus 26 (Ad26) as the viral vector, while the second contains adenovirus 5 (Ad5). Manufacturing of the second dose is a slow process because the Ad5 virus grows very slowly. Since the second dose takes time to manufacture, supplies have been delayed. First doses of the vaccine will be available only when supplies of the second shot are ramped up.”
So far, only a few lakh doses of the vaccine have been available for use in India. Several private hospitals have run out of the vaccine’s first dose, a source at one facility in Pune said on Wednesday.
Dr Arora said some viruses grow very slowly in controlled conditions, including adenovirus 5. “The virus has been used in the past for candidate vaccines and has posed the same issue. Sputnik V’s availability so far in India is not high enough to incorporate it in the government’s free vaccination programme,” he said.
The vaccine has to be stored at -18°C for stability and potency. Apart from Russia, only India is manufacturing the vaccine, he said, adding that the manufacturing process had begun in India, but issues in ramping up second dose production were being experienced here as well as in Russia.

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