Dr Reddy’s received the first consignment on May 1, and said that further consignments of imported doses are expected in the coming months.

Two vials of Sputnik V vaccine, with red and blue cap each in focus with Russian text on vial
Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine Friday, May 14, 2021 - 12:32

The first dose of the Sputnik vaccine was administered in India on Friday, said Dr Reddy’s, the company importing the drug. The dose was administered in Hyderabad. Dr Reddy’s received the first consignment from Russia on May 1, with the lot containing 1.5 lakh doses. “As per protocol, the batch was sent to the Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) in Kasauli for testing,” said the company. Dr Reddy’s said it received regulatory clearance from CDL on Thursday.

“As part of a limited pilot, the soft launch of the vaccine has commenced and the first dose of the vaccine was administered in Hyderabad today on 14th May, 2021,” the company said in a statement. The company also announced that the imported doses will be priced at Rs 948 + 5% GST, or Rs 995.4 per dose. The company said it is looking at the possibility of a lower price point when local supply begins.

“The Company is working closely with its six manufacturing partners in India to fulfill regulatory requirements to ensure smooth and timely supply,” it said.

The Sputnik V vaccine was developed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund. Apart from Dr Reddy’s, RDIF tied up with Virchow Biotech, Gland Pharma, Panacea Biotec, Stelis Biopharma, Shilpa Medicare and Hetero Biopharma to produce doses of the vaccine in India.

Dr Reddy’s said that further consignments of imported doses are expected over the upcoming months. “Subsequently, supply of the Sputnik V vaccine will commence from Indian manufacturing partners,” it said.

G V Prasad, Co-Chairman and Managing Director of DRL, said: "With the rising cases in India, vaccination is our most effective tool in our battle against COVID-19. Contributing to the vaccination drive in India is our biggest priority right now to help Indians be healthy and safe."

Dr Reddy's said it will work with stakeholders to ensure the widest possible reach of the vaccine.  On Thursday, V K Paul, Member (Health), Niti Aayog, said during the Health Ministry’s press briefing that the Sputnik V would likely be available by next week.