The commercial launch of Sputnik V, India’s third Covid-19 vaccine after Covishield and Covaxin, may be deferred due to dependency on consignments imported from Russia and quality testing, said Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company Dr Reddy’s Laboratories on Tuesday.
In an interview with an English news channel, Dr Reddy’s, which has tied up with The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to manufacture the jabs in India, said that the firm is planning to scale up the soft launch to 28 cities by the end of its final leg of the pilot phase.
On June 16, Dr Reddy’s had announced that Sputnik V will soon be available in the markets commercially. The company has also expanded the vaccine’s logistical scope bringing in its ambit other cities to ease hurdles before the Covid-19 vaccine hits the markets, it said.
“The limited pilot soft launch of the Sputnik V vaccine in India has now been successfully scaled up to other cities such as Visakhapatnam, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Baddi, Chennai, Miryalaguda and Kolhapur, with more cities to follow in the next few days," it had said.
“This pilot phase has allowed us to test our cold storage arrangements of -18 degree C temperature in these cities, CoWIN integration, track-and-trace and other logistical arrangements ahead of our commercial launch."
The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had in April granted approval to Sputnik V based on results of clinical trials in Russia as well as positive data of additional Phase III local clinical trials in India conducted in partnership with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.