New Delhi: The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Indian drug firm Panacea Biotec on Monday announced the launch of production of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in India.

The first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine produced at Panacea Biotec’s facilities at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh will be shipped to the Russia’s Gamaleya Center for quality control.

Full-scale production of the vaccine is expected to start this summer, RDIF and Panacea Biotec said in a joint statement.

As announced in April, RDIF and Panacea have agreed to produce 100 million doses per year of Sputnik V, it added.

“Launch of production in India in partnership with Panacea Biotec marks an important step in helping the country fight the pandemic,” RDIF chief executive Kirill Dmitriev said.

Also read: Every Indian will be vaccinated by December: Union Minister Shekhawat

The production of Sputnik V supports efforts of India’s authorities to leave behind the acute phase of coronavirus as soon as possible while the vaccine will also be exported at a later stage to help prevent the spread of the virus in other countries around the world, he added.

On the development, Panacea Biotec MD Rajesh Jain said, “This marks a significant step as we initiate production of Sputnik V. Together with RDIF, we hope to help bring a sense of normalcy back to people across the country and around the world.”

Sputnik V was registered in India under the emergency use authorisation procedure on April 12, 2021, and vaccination against coronavirus with the Russian vaccine started on May 14.

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