India has the manufacturing capability to mass produce the COVID-19 vaccine and Russia is interested in bringing India on board as a production partner, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev told the TV channel India Today in an interview.
"We saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi comment that India is open to manufacturing the vaccine in their country...India has already invested in the vaccine sector heavily, top companies and manufacturing capabilities already exist in India, hence Moscow is keen to manufacture Sputnik V in India", Dmitriev said.
He said that Russia is ready to conduct Phase 3 of clinical trials of the vaccine in India. "Our target is to inoculate 40 million people. We are working with twenty countries including India, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. We want to make this vaccine affordable and accessible with production partners around the world", the RDIF chief added.
He noted that the vaccine is secure and effective. "The vaccine is safe and reliable. I have been inoculated along with my entire family, including my 90-year old parents... In three months 200,000-300,000 people will be vaccinated across the globe with Sputnik V."
India has confirmed some 2.5 million coronavirus cases, the third-highest total after those of the United States and Brazil. More than 49,000 patients have died from virus-related complications.
Russia has registered the world's first vaccine against COVID-19, dubbed Sputnik V, in reference to the Soviet satellite that triggered global space research. Scientists believe the vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Research Centre, will similarly create a so-called "Sputnik effect" for the rest of the world fighting against the pandemic.