Apollo Hospitals and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories today announced the launch of a limited pilot programme for the Russian made Sputnik V Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine as part of the soft launch by Dr Reddy’s in India.
The first phase of the programme kicked off with vaccinations in Hyderabad on Monday, May 17, 2021, and will start in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday, May 18, at separate facilities at the Apollo Hospitals in those cities, said Apollo hospitals in a statement.
“This pilot phase will allow Dr Reddy’s and Apollo to test the arrangements and cold chain logistics and prepare for the launch. We are confident that with the Sputnik V vaccine, we will be able to make a significant contribution to ease availability and access to Covid vaccines to the community at large,” said K Hari Prasad, president – hospitals division, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Limited, in the statement.
“With the opening up of the vaccination programme for the private sector, we have intensified our efforts to accelerate the rate of vaccination through opening vaccination centres across our hospital network and are also in discussions with corporates to undertake vaccination on their premises. We are currently administering Covid-19 vaccine at 60 locations across the country including Apollo Hospitals, Apollo Spectra hospitals and Apollo Clinics,” he added.
The vaccinations would follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) as recommended by the Indian government, including registration on the CoWIN platform, which is the backbone of Covid-19 vaccine delivery system in the country.
“We are pleased to collaborate with Apollo Hospitals as part of our soft pilot launch of the Sputnik V vaccine in India. We are working to scale up the pilot and take the vaccine to other cities, and in the upcoming months we hope to inoculate as many Indians as possible,” said MV Ramana, chief executive officer— branded markets (India and Emerging Markets), Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, in the statement.
According to the statement, the Sputnik V vaccines for the pilot programme will be supplied by Dr Reddy’s from the first batch of 150,000 vaccine doses imported by them for the soft launch on May 1.
After Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam, the pilot programme will be extended to Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, and Pune.
On April 13, Dr Reddy’s Labs received India’s drugs controller’s approval for import of the vaccine under restricted use in emergency situation, making it the third vaccine allowed for use in India against Covid-19.
The vaccine developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute as a proven efficacy of 91.6%, making it third Covid-19 vaccine to have an efficacy of over 90% along with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines .