Rising cases in Russia affect SputnikV supply

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on July 23, 2021

Bharat Biotech to deliver 50-crore doses of Covaxin to the govt, says Suchitra Ella

The supply of Covid vaccine Sputnik V to India has been affected due to the new Covid wave in Russia, according to a senior official with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s is the brand custodian for Spuntik V in India, following its collaboration with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

“The company was seeking to ensure timely supplies of Sputnik V vaccines in India,” said Agam Shah, Lead, Clinical & Medical Operations, Dr Reddy’s Labs.

Responding to questions by Apollo Hospitals President, Dr K Hari Prasad, on the supply of Sputnik at a CII Southern Region-hosted Covidonomics Conclave, Shah said: “The Sputnik vaccine was approved by the government as an import product and supplies are now underway. However, because of a new Covid wave in Russia, the supplies of the vaccine has been affected and we have been facing challenges.”

“Several domestic vaccine manufacturers are at various stages of production of Sputnik in India, and efforts are on to roll out at the earliest,” he said.

The company had recently announced that the soft launch of Sputnik V has scaled up and has reached cities and towns all over India. Dr Reddy’s has partnered with major hospitals across the country and they have successfully administered Sputnik V in India, including ongoing commercial roll-outs to the public.

According to sources, the delay in procuring vaccines could potentially delay the commercial roll out of Sputnik in India. From early August much wider coverage was expected.

Bharat Biotech assurance

In the conclave address, Suchitra Ella, Joint Managing Director of Bharat Biotech, said: “Bharat Biotech has commitment to deliver 50 crore doses of Covaxin to the government under the National Immunisation Programme, and we are committed to deliver them on time.”

Covaxin, the indigenous vaccine developed in less than a year, is at an advanced stage of publishing detailed findings of the vaccine and ramping up of production.

“We are producing these vaccines across four manufacturing plants in India at Ankleshwar, Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad in the group company facilities. The vaccines are being delivered across 27 cities in 25 States,” said Ella.

“Within 12 months of first steps initiated on development of the Covid vaccine in partnership with ICMR and NIV, Pune, we are now in a position to mass produce and supply vaccines for Covid. This is no mean achievement in a sector which takes few years to develop vaccines,” she said.

“India has been known for its production volumes of vaccines. Bharat Biotech has thus far supplied more than 4 billion vaccines to the world. The company has thus far filed 433 patents and has 145 active patents, and will continue to play a role in meeting the vaccine requirements,” she said.

Terminates Brazilian deal

Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech has terminated its deal with Precisa Medicamentos and Envixia Pharmaceuticals for the supply of Covaxin in Brazil.

The development comes against the backdrop of the political controversy in Brazil involving the deal to supply Covaxin and its pricing.

The Indian vaccine maker had signed an MoU on November 24, 2020, with Precisa and Envixia for the supply of its vaccine in Brazil.

However, it has announced the termination of the MoU without mentioning any reason.

It may be recalled that the Brazilian regulator had suspended the contract to procure Covaxin after allegations of irregularities in the deal.

Bharat Biotech has informed that it will continue to work diligently with ANVISA, the Brazilian drug regulatory body, to complete the regulatory approval process for Covaxin.

As part of its global supply outreach, the company has offered to supply Covaxin to Brazil priced at $15 per dose. However, it has not received any advance payments, nor has it supplied any vaccines to the Ministry of Health in Brazil.

The company also denied sharing certain letters, purported to have been executed by executives of the company. These, it stated, are being circulated online.

Published on July 23, 2021

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