India will begin production of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V in August and will be producing 850 million doses, Ambassador DB Venkatesh Varma said on Saturday. Of the total Sputnik V vaccines produced in the world, 65-70% would be made in India, he added.

The announcement was made by the Indian envoy in a media briefing at Russia’s St Petersburg on Sputnik V vaccine, S-400 missiles and also the prevailing Coronavirus situation in India. Varma said that Russia has already supplied 1,50,000 plus 60,000 vaccine doses to India so far. By the end of May, another 3 million doses are expected to arrive here.

“Those would be filled in India. It’s called fill and finish. In June, this number is expected to increase to 5 million. And production in India will start in August,” said Varma.

India plans to produce 850 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine, which is about 65-70% of the total number of vaccine doses produced anywhere in the world. Sputnik V will be produced in India in three phases: first is the supply from Russia which has already begun, second RDIF will send the vaccines to India in bulk. It will be ready for use , but it will have to be filled in various bottles after arrival, the envoy explained.