The Centre on Monday granted approval to Russia's coronavirus vaccine Sputnik-V for restricted use in India, as per sources within the drug regulator's office.

After Covishield and Covaxin, this will become the third Covid-19 vaccine to be used in the country if it is given a go-ahead by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).

Dr Reddy's Laboratories, the Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company, last week sought the government's approval for the vaccine to be used in India.

In September last year, Dr Reddy’s partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to conduct clinical trials of Sputnik V and for its distribution rights in India.

The RDIF has also inked deals with several Indian pharma companies, including Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Virchow Biotech, and Stelis Biopharma, for the production of vaccine doses.

The Russian vaccine has an efficacy of 91.6% based on the interim analysis of phase III clinical trials, which included data from 19,866 volunteers in Russia. and is conducting its Phase III clinical trials in the UAE, India, Venezuela and Belarus, according to the Sputnik-V's website.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has already given the emergency use authorisation for two Covid-19 vaccines – Covaxin of Bharat Biotech and Covishield of Oxford-AstraZeneca, being manufactured by Serum Institute of India in Pune.

The development comes amid many states reporting vaccine shortages in the country.

Earlier, it was reported based on government sources that by the end of the third quarter of this year, India will receive Covid-19 vaccines from five additional manufacturers.