- First dose administered in Hyderabad today as part of soft launch
- Sputnik V has an efficiency of 91.6%, third vaccine cleared in India
- Dr Reddy's Laboratories is the Indian manufacturer of the Russian vaccine
An imported dose of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus will cost Rs. 995.40 in India, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, which is manufacturing the vaccine in India, said today. Sputnik V, which has an efficiency of 91.6 per cent, is the third vaccine to be approved for use in India.
The first dose of the vaccine was administered in Hyderabad today as part of a soft launch by Dr Reddy's.
The price of the imported doses will include five per cent GST per dose. Doses of Sputnik V which are made in India, however, are likely to be cheaper.
First doses of #SputnikV administered in India. On the picture Deepak Sapra, Global Head of Custom Pharma Services at @drreddys Laboratories is getting a shot of Sputnik V in Hyderabad. pic.twitter.com/iBbTeB2DmT— Sputnik V (@sputnikvaccine) May 14, 2021
The vaccine is likely to be available in the market from next week, the Centre had said on Thursday as the vaccine shortage in various states deepened and restrictions were brought in for vaccination.
The first consignment of imported doses of the Sputnik V vaccine landed in India on May 1, after it was cleared for emergency use in India on April 13.
"Further consignments of imported doses are expected over the upcoming months. Subsequently, supply of the Sputnik V vaccine will commence from Indian manufacturing partners," Dr Reddy's said.
At 91.6 per cent, Sputnik V has a higher efficacy compared to the two Covid vaccines that are currently being administered in India: Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.
Writing in medical journal The Lancet, scientists involved in a peer-review of the vaccine have said, ''Notwithstanding the previous issues and lack of transparency, the interim results from the phase 3 trial of the Sputnik V vaccine again raise serious concerns.''
The allegations were countered by Russian scientists in another piece in The Lancet. The scientists said, ''Clear and transparent regulatory standards exist for provision of clinical trial data.''
Sputnik V is one of only three vaccines in the world with such a high efficacy rate, after Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The two-dose vaccine also has most authorisations granted globally. Priced at less than $10 per dose in international markets, the vaccine has already been administered to more than 20 lakh people worldwide.
The Sputnik vaccine is available in both liquid and powder form. The liquid form needs to be stored at minus 18 degrees. For the powder form - which can be kept between two and eight degrees, stability tests are ongoing.
In September last year, Dr Reddy's partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to conduct clinical trials of Sputnik V and for its distribution rights in India.