New Delhi: India has a huge opportunity to be the next big hub for vaccine production after Russia announced that it will manufacture Covid-19 vaccines at foreign sites with partners.
Amir Ullah Khan, economist at MCRHRDI of the Government of Telegana, and former senior advisor for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said, "As Russia is keen to work with other countries, including India, this is a huge opportunity for us to be the next big hub for vaccine production. India has played an important role with the most prominent partnership of Dr. Reddy's lab with the Russian Development Investment Fund. The lab will conduct clinical trials and provide Sputnik V for coronavirus in India."
Russia has recently expressed the willingness to produce vaccines at foreign sites. It is very encouraging and a huge opportunity for India which is among the largest manufacturers of generic drugs and vaccines in the world. It is home to half a dozen major vaccine makers which are developing vaccines against the virus that causes Covid-19.
"With India's increasing experience in manufacturing vaccines and crucial role in product innovation that is affordable, the country is foreseen as a growing vaccine hub. About 60 per cent of all vaccines worldwide are manufactured in India and it can be world's door to vaccines," said Gajendra Singh, a public health expert.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia is ready to produce Covid-19 vaccines at the sites of foreign partners.
"Most importantly, we are ready to agree to produce this vaccine or these vaccines at the production sites of our foreign partners. They have this equipment, and I want to emphasise this, not to the detriment of vaccination in Russia itself, since we still have to purchase or develop this equipment, we are ready to work with our foreign partners," Putin said.
"I just want to remind you that we are generally ready to work more closely with our colleagues in science than we have done so far. We know that many European countries have already signed contracts for the supply of vaccines from the UK," Putin said.
Putin also slammed the Western vaccines saying they were made from monkey and chimpanzee adenovirus.
"Unfortunately, our colleagues there have experienced some malfunctions, they make their vaccine based on monkey and chimpanzee adenovirus, and our specialists at the Gamaleya Institute make it based on human adenovirus in order to deliver the necessary components to the cells in the human body. And it works effectively. Thank God, without glitches," Putin said.
Putin added that mass vaccination will start by the end of the year.
"We do not have a single serious glitch in this area. Both the vaccines by Vector and the Gamaleya Institute work effectively. The question is how to mass produce it. The vaccine has already been delivered to all the regions of Russia. I hope that we will be able to start mass vaccination at the end of the year," Putin said.