The Drug Controller General of India has approved the single-shot Sputnik Light vaccine for restricted use in emergency situations, pharmaceutical firm Dr Reddy’s Laboratories announced on Monday.

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Sunday said Sputnik Light is India’s ninth vaccine against coronavirus. “This will further strengthen the nation’s collective fight against the pandemic,” Mandaviya said in a tweet.

When a vaccine is designated for restricted use in emergency situations, it has to be administered to only those persons who are in dire need of it based on their medical condition.

Apart from Sputnik V, India has approved the use of Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik V, Covovax, Corbevax, ZyCoV-D, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna.

Sputnik Light is a single-dose version of Sputnik V, the coronavirus vaccine developed by Russia. It is India’s first single-dose vaccine and the second Covid-19 vaccine to be produced by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, a Hyderabad based company.

In May, the Russian government had announced that Sputnik light has overall efficacy of 79.4% against Covid-19 and costs around Rs 730 per dose. It had announced that the vaccine would be used for beneficiaries above 60 years of age.

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories said that Sputnik Light was approved in over 30 countries around the world including Argentina, UAE, the Philippines and Russia.

The pharmaceutical firm also said that a study showed Sputnik V offered strong protection against the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

“Earlier this year, an independent comparative study conducted by the Spallanzani Institute in Italy showed that Sputnik V demonstrates strong protection against the Omicron variant, with over two times higher virus neutralising activity compared to the Pfizer vaccine,” Dr Reddy’s Laboratories said in a release.

The firm further said that the data supports another study done by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology in Moscow indicating that Sputnik V induces robust neutralising antibody response against the Omicron variant.