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2.1 Lakh Sputnik V Doses to be Rolled Out This Week. Will it Help Ease Vaccine Shortage?

Sputnik V vaccine. (Reuters)

Sputnik V vaccine. (Reuters)

Dr Reddy's Laboratories in association with Apollo Hospitals on Monday launched a pilot programme of vaccinating its lab employees and their families at the hospital chain across the country.

Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V is set to be rolled out this week after the second batch of the shots arrived in India on Sunday. The second batch that was taken to Dr Reddy’s biggest global distribution centre in Hyderabad was even smaller than the first one. Sixty thousand doses arrived in the second shipment, while 1.5 lakh doses had come on May 1, its first shipment in India.

The figure adds up to only 2,10,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccines that is available in India at the moment, which may not play a big factor in easing out the supply chain. But the government is hopeful that by the end of the year, 15 crore doses of Sputnik V will be available.

Dr VK Paul, member (Health), NITI Aayog, had informed that the Russian vaccine will hopefully be available in the market from this week. The announcement came as a relief as several states have reported the shortage of the Covid-19 vaccines.

The Centre had last week assured that over two billion doses of vaccines will be made available in the country in five months between August and December, enough to vaccinate the entire population.

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Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in association with Apollo Hospitals will be doing a pilot programme from Monday of vaccinating its lab employees and their families at the hospital chain across the country. The Indian manufacturer soft-launched Sputnik V in India on Friday as the company CEO Deepak Sapra took the first shot in Hyderabad.

The vaccine by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute is priced at Rs 948; its retail price will be Rs 995.40 a dose with 5% GST. Replying to a question on Sputnik V’s efficacy against variants of SARS-Cov-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19), Dr Reddy’s CEO said, “The vaccine has been tested on some of the variants. The variant on which we have received the data from our Russian partner is the UK variant. Testing is underway on the South African variant."

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