The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Indian generic pharmaceutical company Hetero have agreed to produce more than 100 million doses of Russian-made Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine per year on Indian soil.

Production is set to start at the beginning of next year, the RDIF, which funded the development of the Russian vaccine, said in a statement.

RDIF chief Kirill Dmitriev said the deal will “provide the people of India with an efficient solution in this challenging period of the pandemic.” He added that Sputnik V should become “an integral part of the national vaccine portfolio” of every country.

Director of international marketing at Hetero Labs Limited, B. Murali Krishna Reddy, hailed the collaboration as “another step towards our commitment in the battle against Covid-19.” 

While we look forward to the clinical trial results in India, we believe that manufacturing the product locally is crucial to enable swift access to patients.

In August, Russia became the first country to register a vaccine for Covid-19. On Tuesday, Russian officials said Sputnik V’s efficacy rate was 91.4 percent a week after a second dose was administered to volunteers.