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Covid-19: India authorises Sputnik V vaccine as cases soar to more than 180 000 a day

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n978 (Published 14 April 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n978

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  1. Patralekha Chatterjee
  1. New Delhi

India has seen a sharp rise in new coronavirus infections with more than 180 000 a day recorded in mid-April, up from 10 000 cases a day in early February. To date there have been around 13.9 million cases of covid-19 and over 172 085 deaths in the country.1

The surge in cases is occurring against a backdrop of pandemic fatigue among the public that has led to lax adherence to safety protocols, massive religious congregations, and a profusion of election rallies, alongside new mutations of the novel coronavirus. Widespread shortages of intensive care beds and oxygen cylinders have been reported.

This week India’s regulators authorised the Russian made Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use, making it the third covid-19 vaccine to be made available in the country after the Oxford-AstraZeneca one, which is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India in Pune, and Covaxin, developed by the Indian firm Bharat Biotech.

Regulators have also fast tracked other vaccine candidates that have been authorised elsewhere for emergency use in India so as to “expand the …

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