Russia ‘registers’ nasal version of Sputnik V

The Russian Health Ministry has registered the nasal version of Sputnik V, making it the world’s first nasal vaccine against Covid-19.

This was tweeted by the Sputnik V handle, a departure from earlier practice when all milestones on the Russian Covid-19 vaccine were announced by the Russian Direct Investment Fund. However, following Russia’s war on Ukraine, both Russian Direct Investment Fund (the sovereign wealth fund of the Russian Federation) and its Chief are on the United States sanctions list. Russian Direct Investment Fund, though, has maintained that it had never been involved in political activities.

The Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine had been developed by the Gamaleya Institute.

A Gintsburg, Head, Gamaleya Center, said the Sputnik nasal vaccine was effective against “highly transmissible #Omicron & other emerging variants not only in terms of protection from infection but also at preventing transmission”.

It is unclear if the nasal vaccine version of Sputnik V will also come to India. The earlier versions of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light (the single dose vaccine) are present in India through multiple alliances.

Russian Direct Investment Fund has an alliance with India’s Dr Reddy’s Laboratories to market Sputnik V in India. There are tie-ups with multiple others – including Serum Institute of India, Wockhardt, Morepen, Panacea Biotec, Hetero, Gland Pharma and Strides – making India a major production base for Sputnik V, for the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, Indian vaccine makers Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute are also developing nasal vaccines against Covid-19.

Sputnik V adoption in India has been low, for reasons including raw material supply constraints. Following the Ukraine attack, industry insiders say there could be payment issues in future transactions though medicines are usually kept out of the ambit of sanctions.

The ongoing war could also take some sheen off Sputnik Light, being projected as a universal booster, experts caution. Recent reports said the World Health Organization’s evaluation of the vaccine for emergency use would be delayed as inspections in Russia had been postponed following the attack.

Published on

April 02, 2022

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