Sputnik V rollout delayed in Delhi, hospitals point to supply issues
The rollout of Russia-made Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine has been delayed. The vaccine was meant to be available at Indraprastha Apollo and Madhukar Rainbow Children's Hospital, but the officials said that supply issue led to the delay.
"We are expecting (roll out) next week," the spokesperson of Madhukar Rainbow Children's Hospital said. Apollo Hospitals, meanwhile, said the facility will tentatively start administering the two-dose vaccine by June 25.
Fortis Healthcare, which had said it would make Sputnik V available at its Gurugram and Mohali hospitals from Saturday, also has not started administering the Russian vaccine so far.
"The rollout did not happen on Saturday. We expect there will be some clarity on Monday," an official said.
Gurugram will be the first district in Haryana to begin the inoculation of Sputnik on a pilot basis. Doses will be initially administered to the hospital staff, according to health officials.
Fortis has procured the vaccine directly from Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.
Sputnik V is the third vaccine to get emergency use approval from India's drugs regulator DCGI. The other two vaccines are AstraZeneca's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.
The Centre has fixed the price of the vaccine at ₹1,145 per dose. The maximum price of Covishield for private Covid-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs) has been fixed at ₹780 per dose, while that of Covaxin is ₹1,410 per dose.
Sputnik V has been developed by Russia's Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and its marketing is being handled by Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
The RDIF said on Thursday that it will offer a booster shot (second dose of Sputnik V) to other vaccine manufacturers. This booster shot, the RDIF said, has been adjusted to work against the Delta Covid-19 variant, which was first detected in India.
Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy's Laboratories, the marketing partner for the vaccine in the country, has been importing vials of Sputnik V from Russia. Over a period of time, the vaccine is expected to be manufactured in India.
Sputnik V uses two different viruses that cause the common cold (adenovirus) in humans. It employs a different vector for each of the two shots, given 21 days apart.
According to Gamaleya and the RDIF, Sputnik V has demonstrated an efficacy rate of 92 per cent.