First consignment of Sputnik V arrives in Hyderabad
The first consignment of 150,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine landed in Hyderabad from Russia, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories announced on Saturday.
A special cargo flight carrying the first consignment landed at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.
Hyderabad Customs facilitated expeditious clearance of the vaccines imported from Russia.
The rollout of the consignment will be subject to the necessary clearances, which will be processed over the next few days, Dr Reddy’s said in a statement.
“This initial quantity will be used across different channels as a pilot to line up our supply chain for the larger vaccination program rollout,” it added.
Subsequent consignments will arrive in the next few weeks.
“First batch of Sputnik V has arrived in Hyderabad. That’s the same day the country starts mass Covid vaccination drive covering entire adult population. Let’s jointly defeat this pandemic. Together we are stronger,” tweeted Sputnik V.
Last month, the Indian regulators granted regulatory approval or restricted use authorisation to Sputnik V.
With an efficacy of 91.6 per cent, Sputnik V was the first vaccine against Covid-19 in the world.
Clinical trial data published in The Lancet indicated that the vaccine appears safe and effective.
Sputnik V will be the third vaccine to be cleared for use in India at a time when the country is in the grip of an intense second wave and demand for vaccines has shot up.
Dr Reddy’s top executives recently hinted that Sputnik V Covid vaccine will be sold at $10 (around Rs 750) a dose in India.
The company has entered into an agreement with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for import of 125 million people equivalent doses.
Dr Reddy’s plan to ramp up manufacture of the vaccine in India after the initial imports.
Centre To Provide 56L Vax Doses To States, UTs In Next 3 Days
With its aim to vaccinate maximum number of people to curb Covid-19 menace, the Centre has decided to provide more than 56 lakh vaccine doses to the States and Union Territories within the next three days.
“A total of 56,20,670 additional Covid vaccine doses will be provided to the states and the UTs in the next three days,” Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said on Sunday.
The decision was taken at a time when the cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in India has crossed 15.68 crore on Sunday with over 86,000 beneficiaries covered in the Phase-3 of the nationwide vaccination drive commenced on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the MoHFW clarified that it has so far provided nearly 16.54 crore vaccine doses (16,54,93,410) to states and UTs “free of cost”. “Of this, the total consumption including wastage is 15,76,32,631 doses (as per data available at 8 a.m. on Sunday.”
More than 78 lakh Covid vaccine doses (78,60,779) are still available with the states and the UTs to be administered.
A total of 86,023 beneficiaries of the age group of 18-44 years received their first dose of Covid vaccine across 11 states as the Liberalized and Accelerated Phase-3 Strategy of Covid-19 vaccination came into force on Saturday.
These states are Chhattisgarh (987), Delhi (1,472), Gujarat (51,622), Jammu and Kashmir (201), Karnataka (649), Maharashtra (12,525), Odisha (97), Punjab (298), Rajasthan (1853), Tamil Nadu (527) and Uttar Pradesh (15,792).
Cumulatively, 15,68,16,031 vaccine doses have been administered through 22,93,911 sessions, as per the provisional report till 7 a.m. on Sunday, said Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
Haryana starts vaccination for above 18 years
Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij on Sunday said the third phase of coronavirus vaccination for those aged between 18 and 45 years, numbering around 1.1 crore, commenced at 200 centres in the state on Sunday.
He said free vaccination would be done at all government hospitals and vaccination centres. A total of 66 lakh doses of the vaccine were sought and the first batch has been received.
Karnataka CM launches vaccine drive for 18+
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa symbolically launched the Covid vaccination drive for people in the 18-44 age group here on Saturday.
Yediyurappa’s decision to launch the vaccination drive for those above 18 years came as a surprise within his party circles as on Friday night, he had justified his Health Minister K. Sudhakar’s announcement on proposal to postpone the drive citing zero supply of required vaccine doses in the state.
After launching the vaccination drive at the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital here, the Chief Minister told media that Karnataka will administer vaccines to people aged 18-44 years and the state has four lakh stock of the vaccine doses.
“We are taking a big leap towards fighting the pandemic by opening up vaccination for the 18-44 years category, which covers nearly 3.26 crore people,” he said.
Yediyurappa said that Karnataka was hopeful that the imported vaccines will enhance the vaccination coverage.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi was committed to ensuring the entire population is vaccinated.”
Responding to apprehensions over severe shortage of Covid vaccines that has slowed down the vaccination drive in the state, the Chief Minister claimed that the state will procure two crore doses shortly to ease the situation.
Contending that the vaccines are an effective tool to fight the pandemic, he said that the state has already inoculated 96.5 lakh doses to the 45+ yrs category.
Yediyurappa also appealed to the people to extend cooperation to tide over the second wave of the pandemic and also warned the blackmarketeers of Covid medicines and vaccines of stern action.
“The private hospitals have been authorised to administer the vaccines and we have also fixed the price of vaccines. We will initiate stern action against the blackmarketeers,” he said.
The Chief Minister added that to facilitate the treatment of Covid patients, 4,000 ICU beds will be set up in Bengaluru on a war footing.
Vaccination for 18-45 age group begins in Srinagar
Vaccination for people in the age group of 18 to 45 has begun in Srinagar. The drive was started by Srinagar Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Aijaz Asad on Saturday.
A total of 10 designated centres have been set up for vaccination of the eligible age group and only the registered persons will be vaccinated.
“The LG administration has announced to provide free vaccines to the beneficiaries between the age group of 18 to 45 years. The drive has been started at the SMHS hospital on Saturday. It will be rolled out in a phase wise manner,” Asad told reporters.
“Eligible persons must go to vaccination centres only after taking an appointment,” he added.
The centers which have been set include Sub centre Natipora, UPHC Nishat, SMHS hospital, SKIMS Soura, G B Pant hospital, Boys Secondary School NIT, Miranda School Chinkral Mohalla, Community hall, Health centre Miskeen Bagh and Government higher Secondary School Batmaloo.
Bharat Biotech cuts price of Covaxin for states
Bharat Biotech on Thursday announced that it is slashing the price of its Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin to Rs 400, from Rs 600 earlier, for state governments.
The announcement came a day after the Serum Institute of India (SII) cut the price of Covishield to Rs 300 from Rs 400 earlier.
The two vaccine makers slashed the prices after the Central government reportedly made a request to them amid the row over different pricing for the Central and state governments.
Bharat Biotech said in a statement on Thursday that it deeply concerned with the critical pandemic circumstances that India is facing at this time.
“Recognising the enormous challenges to the public healthcare system, we have made Covaxin available to state governments at a price of Rs 400 per dose,” the Hyderabad-based company said.
“We wish to be transparent in our approach to pricing which was determined by internally funded product development, several operationally-intensive BSL-3 manufacturing facilities (the first of its kind in our country) and clinical trials,” it added.
The company stated that for the last one year, Team Bharat Biotech has been fearlessly handling live SARS-CoV-2 virus strains, tirelessly working round-the-clock while overcoming many challenges given the uncertainty of the pandemic.
Bharat Biotech had on April 24 announced the prices of Covaxin. It fixed at Rs 1,200 as the price per dose for private hospitals. This is twice the cost fixed by the SII for Covishield.
For exports, it has priced India’s first indigenous Covid vaccine at $15-$20 (Rs 1,125-1,500).
Ever since the launch of Covid vaccination programme in India, Bharat Biotech and the SII have been supplying their vaccines to the Centre at Rs 150 per dose.
While Bharat Biotech is likely to continue the supplies to the Centre at the same price, the SII had hinted at revising this to Rs 400.