Russian Covid vaccine Sputnik V will be available at Delhi's Indraprastha Apollo hospital, located in posh south Delhi. Initially, the launch date was June 15, which was also tweeted by Sputnik. But sources now say that the vaccination will begin on June 20. The hospital authorities are yet to comment on the issue.
According to the Centre's pricing schedule, Sputnik has been priced at Rs 1,145, which will contain hospital charges and tax.
The announcement comes amid a dire vaccine shortage in the country, which has just passed through an excruciating second phase of the coronavirus. Many states had to hut vaccine centres due to the shortage -- a situation that is also delaying the unlock process.
Dr Reddy's Laboratories had applied for emergency use approval of the vaccine in February. A single-dose variant Sputnik Light - essentially the first dose of the vaccine which has a 79.4 per cent efficacy rate - could be approved in the near future.
Sputnik, which received approval from the drug regulator in April, will be manufactured by five pharma firms in the country and 850 million doses are going to be produced annually.
The vaccine has the highest effectiveness - 91.6 per cent - next to the Moderna and Pfizer shots.
So far India, the world's biggest vaccine manufacturer, has been able to vaccinate around 3 per cent of its population.
The vaccine shortage has been raising concern as several states prepare to counter a third wave of the virus. Experts have said that this can be one only if all the people in the country receive the jab as soon as possible.
The Centre has set itself a steep target of vaccinating all the eligible people in the country by the end of the year. The vaccine situation is expected to ease off from August, with the production of Serum Institute's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin picking up.
Earlier this month, the Centre updated its vaccination policy, taking away the responsibility of procurement and vaccination from the state governments.
In an address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Centre will procure 75 per cent of the vaccines produced by companies, including the 25 per cent currently assigned to states. Private hospitals will continue to buy the remaining 25 per cent and vaccinate those who are willing to pay.