The powder form of the Russian-developed Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine has the advantage of better shelf life than other vaccines used in India, the president of the Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO), K K Aggarwal, said on Thursday.
"Sputnik V vaccine in powder form has more shelf life than currently existing vaccines in India. This will ease the storage process and ensure that even the remote areas have access to the vaccine," Aggarwal, who is a former president of the Indian Medical Association, said.
The CMAAO chief pointed to the importance of vaccine durability in terms of India's geographic specifics.
"It's one of the most important points in favour of Sputnik V vaccine, as Indian masses live in rural areas and it's very difficult to preserve Indian vaccines for so long, while Sputnik V vaccine has an edge in this aspect," Aggarwal noted.
India's vaccines portfolio currently includes three vaccines against COVID-19, namely, the locally-produced variant of AstraZeneca vaccine branded Covieshield, India's Covaxin, and recently authorized Russia's Sputnik V. The deliveries of the Russian vaccine are due to begin later in April, and its production is due to start next month.
The volume of the Sputnik V vaccine production in India will be gradually increasing and may exceed 50 million doses per month, becoming responsible for some 60-70% of the global Sputnik V production.
Sputnik V, the world's first registered coronavirus vaccine, has been approved for emergency use in 60 countries across the globe. According to an interim analysis from the trial published in The Lancet, the vaccine has 91.6 percent efficacy.