The pilot launch of Russian Covid vaccine Sputnik V, which was initiated in Hyderabad, has now been extended to nine other cities. These cities are Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Baddi, Kolhapur and Miryalaguda.
However, people cannot register for the Russian vaccine through the CoWIN portal yet and that facility will be available only when it is commercially launched, local distribution partner Dr Reddy's said in a statement. The statement added that the pilot launch is in its final leg and necessary arrangements are being made to ensure availability of both doses.
The pilot programme for Sputnik V, which received clearance from the drug regulator for emergency use in April, was launched on May 17 by Dr Reddy's in collaboration with Apollo Hospitals. In India, the first dose of the vaccine was administered in Hyderabad on May 15 under the pilot launch.
The statement by Dr Reddy's said the pilot launch has allowed them to test cold storage arrangements in these cities, the integration with CoWIN portal and other logistical aspects before the vaccine is launched commercially.
The Russian vaccine has a high efficacy rate of 91.6 per cent. According to the Centre's pricing schedule, it will be priced at Rs 1,145, including hospital charges and tax.
Short supply of Covid vaccine doses, especially for the 18-44 years age group, had slowed down the immunisation exercise in the country last month and forced several states to shut inoculation centres. However, the daily vaccination numbers are now picking up. More than 28 lakh doses of Covid vaccines were administered over the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry reported today.