Apollo Hospitals begins pilot to administer SputnikV vaccines with Dr Reddy's Labs

V Rishi Kumar | | Updated on: Dec 06, 2021

FILE PHOTO: A vial labelled "Sputnik V Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine" and a syringe are seen in this illustration photo taken March 12, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Domestic manufacturers of SputnikV to seek regulator nod

Apollo Hospitals and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories today launched a pilot programme to administer the Sputnik V Covid vaccine as part of its soft launch in the country.

The first phase of the programme started with vaccinations in Hyderabad today, and will commence in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday at Apollo Hospitals in those cities. The vaccinations would follow the SOPs recommended by the Government, including registration on CoWIN.

Dr. K. Hari Prasad, President, Hospitals Division, Apollo Hospitals said, “With the opening up of the vaccination programme for the private sector, we have intensified our efforts to accelerate the rate of vaccination by opening vaccination centres across our hospital network and are also in discussions with corporates to undertake vaccination on their premises. We are currently administering Covid vaccines at 60 locations across the country, including Apollo Hospitals, Apollo Spectra Hospitals and Apollo Clinics.”

This pilot phase allows Dr. Reddy’s and Apollo to test the arrangements and cold-chain logistics and prepare for the launch.

M.V. Ramana, CEO, Branded Markets (India & Emerging Markets), Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories said, “We are working to scale up the pilot and take the vaccine to other cities, and in the upcoming months we hope to inoculate as many Indians as possible.”

The Sputnik V vaccines for the pilot programme would be supplied by Dr. Reddy’s from the first batch of 1,50,000 vaccine doses imported by them for the soft launch. After Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam, the pilot programme will be extended to Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, and Pune.

Referring to Dr Reddy’s plan, Sauri Gudavalleti, Head of R&D, Dr Reddy’s said, “The plan is to import about 15-18 million doses of vaccines from Russia initially. And, thereafter, within a month or two, domestic manufacturers will be able to produce locally.”

RDIF of Russia has tied up with six Indian manufacturers for 850 million doses of SputnikV vaccine. Of this, 250 million will be supplied to India. However, domestic manufacturers will have to seek regulatory approval to domestically produce vaccines, he said.

Referring to Sputnik Light, the single dose Covid vaccine, which has shown about 79.4 per cent efficacy, the Dr Reddy’s official said, “We are currently collecting all the data from Russia and plan to submit the same over the next few weeks to follow up on the vaccine and consider its introduction in India.”

Mentioning that the focus currently is on ensuring that even the inputs that go into vaccines are locally procured, he said “at least 8-9 States are in discussions with the company for supply of vaccines. It will take a few weeks to supply from domestic manufacturers. We are looking at either June-end of July for locally-made vaccines.”

Apollo has priced the vaccine at Rs 1,200-1,250 per dose.

Published on May 17, 2021
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