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‘Many States have evinced interest in Sputnik V’

Many States have approached Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, marketing partner for Sputnik V in India, to procure the Russian vaccine, a member of the company’s management team said on Monday.

Their interest assumes significance in the backdrop of the vaccination programme in the country slowing down due a shortage of vaccines and more people becoming eligible with the Centre earlier this month permitting vaccination of those above 18 years of age.

“As of now, 8-9 States have approached,” Global Head of Integrated Product Development Organisation Sauri Gudlavalleti said at the launch of a pilot programme for the vaccine at Apollo Hospitals here on Monday.

Last week, announcing the roll-out of the two-dose vaccine, Dr. Reddy’s said the MRP per dose was ₹995.40, which includes a 5% GST. The company had received the first consignment of 1.50 lakh doses from Russia on May 1 and 60,000 doses of the second dose component of the vaccine on Sunday.

The cost is expected to come down with the commencement of domestic production. Six companies have entered into agreements to produce 850 million doses a year, and the made in India Sputnik is expected to be launched by July. “Some have started making small batches, which can be used for [regulatory] submission purposes,” Mr. Gudlavalleti said.

The rule stipulating that vaccine-makers set aside 50% of the production for the Centre would kick in with domestic production. For now, Dr. Reddy’s intends to take the imported vaccine primarily to private hospitals in 35 cities. “We are working diligently to detail out our ability to supply to the government. The quantity [of vaccines] we are sitting on right now is limited,” he said. It is expecting 36 million doses (for 18 million people) from Russia over the next two months.

On the price, he said “current imported stock is going to be single price for all... when domestic production comes it will be [priced] as per the regulations in each channel.” The Centre has been procuring Covaxin and Covishield, the other two vaccines, at the rate of ₹150 per dose.

To queries on plans to bring Sputnik Light, a single dose vaccine launched by Sputnik V developers, he said the data forming the basis for its approval in Russia was being studied. It was expected to be submitted to the regulator in India in the next few weeks.

President – Hospitals Division of Apollo Hospitals Enterprises, Dr. K. Hari Prasad, said the pilot phase would allow Dr. Reddy’s and Apollo to test the arrangements and cold chain logistics, since Sputnik had to be stored at minus 18 degrees C, and prepare for the launch. “We are doing a trial run from today to fix any logistics issues and to prove that they are safe, by vaccinating around 50,000 staff and families of Dr. Reddy’s, across the country. The cost will be ₹1,200-₹1,250, including vaccination and vaccine administering,” he said.

A pilot programme is to be launched next in Visakhapatnam and extended to Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, and Pune, a release said.


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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 4:03:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/many-states-have-evinced-interest-in-sputnik-v/article34582126.ece

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