Mexico has become the first North American country to approve and get a batch of the Russian vaccine, Sputnik V.

Announcing delivery of the consignment, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on Tuesday that the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk of Mexico (COFEPRIS) approved Sputnik V under the emergency use authorisation procedure without additional clinical trials in the country.

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Mexico has the third highest number of deaths from Covid-19, at over 1.8 lakh, and over 20 lakh confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University. The US and Brazil have the highest and second highest number of deaths. India stands fourth on this list, behind Mexico.

Production alliance

Sputnik V is presently approved for use in more than 30 countries making the vaccine one of the world’s top three coronavirus vaccines in terms of the number of approvals issued by regulatory authorities, the RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, said.

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India’s Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has an alliance on this vaccine to undertake late-stage trials in the country, while Hetero Biopharma has a production alliance.

With an efficacy of over 91 per cent, Sputnik V vaccine is based on a well-studied platform of human adenoviral vectors, which cause the common cold and have been around for thousands of years. It uses two different vectors for the two shots in a course of vaccination, providing immunity with a longer duration than vaccines using the same delivery mechanism for both shots, according to the RDIF.