Exclusive: India to get Russia's Sputnik V vaccine only by end-May

FILE PHOTO: Phial labelled Sputnik V coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine
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By Krishna N. Das

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India will start receiving Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine by end-May, its local distributor Dr. Reddy's Laboratories told Reuters on Thursday, a later than expected schedule that could slow the country's immunisation drive.

"We are targeting to have the first batches imported by (fiscal) Q1, and are trying our best to have them by end-May," a Dr. Reddy’s spokesman told Reuters.

"Sputnik is going to be made in India in a few months. We expect the India-made vaccine to start being available from the second quarter of the fiscal (year)."

India's ambassador to Moscow said last week deliveries of Sputnik V to the country were expected to begin this month, the TASS news agency reported.

India recorded the world's highest daily tally of 314,835 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday as a second wave of the pandemic raised new fears about the ability of crumbling health services to cope.

(Reporting by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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