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India weighing Russian offer for Sputnik-V vaccine trial, manufacturing, official says

A handout photo shows vials during the production of "Gam-COVID-Vac" vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), at Binnopharm pharmaceutical company in Zelenograd near Moscow, Russia August 7, 2020. Picture taken August 7, 2020. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF)/Andrey Rudakov/Handout via REUTERS

BENGALURU (Reuters) - India has received an offer from Russia to conduct a trial and manufacture its “Sputnik-V” COVID-19 vaccine, with several Indian companies currently studying the proposal, an Indian government official said on Tuesday.

“The government of India attaches great importance to this offer of partnership from a friend,” said V. K. Paul, member of the Indian federal government think-tank NITI Aayog.

The outcome of discussions on the offer were expected soon, he added.

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans