File titled “Sputnik V Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Vaccine,” March 24, 2021.

Given Ruvic | Reuters

India approved the second most coronavirus-affected country in the world for the Russian vaccine Sputnik V shortly after overtaking Brazil.

The move, announced Tuesday by the Drug Controller General of India, makes India the 60th and most populous country to take the shot. According to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s state fund, Sputnik V is now approved for use on a total population of 3 billion people.

“The approval of the vaccine is an important milestone as Russia and India have developed extensive clinical trial collaboration with Sputnik V in India and its local production,” said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of RDIF, in a statement. The deal includes partnerships between RDIF and some Indian pharmaceutical companies to manufacture “over 850 million doses” of Sputnik V in India each year, which is enough of the two-shot vaccine for 425 million people, Dmitriev said.

India reported more than 161,736 new Covid cases on Tuesday – the eighth day in a row that more than 100,000 infections were registered. The country of 1.3 billion people now has more than 13.87 million confirmed cases and over 172,000 deaths. Sputnik V joins two more vaccines and becomes the third to be approved for use in India.

At less than $ 10 per shot, the relatively inexpensive vaccine touted by Russia’s leadership has quickly gained recognition in developing countries as the second and third waves of the virus emerge in many regions. Countries that have approved use include Argentina, Bolivia, Serbia, Hungary, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Myanmar, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, the Republic of the Congo, Vietnam and the Philippines. The Russian health authorities gave their effectiveness rate as 91.6%.

People wait to board passenger buses during rush hour at a bus station amid the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mumbai, India on April 5, 2021.

Niharika Kulkarni | Reuters

The recording, developed by the Gamaleya National Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, has been criticized by many in the Western scientific community for its rash development and lack of transparency. A month before Sputnik’s efficacy study started last September, Russian authorities took the highly controversial move of approving the vaccination for people outside of a clinical trial, which, according to the Gamaleya Center, was being used for health workers and high-risk groups.

The prestigious medical journal The Lancet reported on the high rate of effectiveness of the Russian sting in late-stage clinical trials in February, writing that the “vaccine effectiveness” of Sputnik V is based on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 21 days after the first dose The vaccine is reported to be 91.6% and the proposed post-dose reduction in disease severity is particularly encouraging for current dose-saving strategies. ”

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that he had received his second dose of a coronavirus vaccine. He refused to say which one it was.