Dr Reddy's Laboratories (DRL) on Wednesday said that the soft launch of the Sputnik V Coronavirus vaccine in India that was initiated first in Hyderabad has now been scaled up to many cities including Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai among others. The option to register for the COVID-19 vaccine doses will be available on CoWIN portal after its commercial launch, the pharma company said.
The pilot launch is expected to help in testing the cold storage and other logistical arrangements before the commercial launch. Registration will remain closed during this limited pilot phase and open up soon after the commercial launch takes place.
Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has partnered with Rockwell Industries to enable the storage of the Sputnik V vaccine in its freezers across India. The company has also signed an agreement to partner with Snowman Logistics for the nationwide distribution of Sputnik V, which is expected to begin later this month.
Dr Reddy’s had launched the vaccine commercially in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam on a pilot basis on May 14 but had not started distributing Sputnik V nationwide due to lack of doses and adequate cold storage infrastructure for the vaccine. Sputnik V requires storage at temperatures of -18 degree Celsius.
While Snowman will manage the delivery through five of its high-capacity temperature-controlled warehouses in Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Chennai, and Bengaluru, Rockwell will help the company get freezers for their storage.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Dr Reddy's had signed an agreement in 2020 to collaborate on clinical trial and distribution of Sputnik V vaccine in India. Dr Reddy's has exclusive marketing and distribution rights for the first 250 million doses of Sputnik V vaccines in India. The first phase of a limited pilot vaccination programme was conducted by Apollo Hospitals and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories on May 17 in Hyderabad and on May 18 in Vishakhapatnam.
The Central Government has capped the price of Sputnik V at private hospitals at Rs 1,145. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), earlier on June 10, announced that the efficacy of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine based on a vaccination campaign by Bahrain's Ministry of Health was estimated to be 94.3 per cent. According to the analysis of data from 3.8 million vaccinated persons in Russia, Sputnik V has demonstrated 97.6 per cent efficacy.