Delhi to receive Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine post-June 20: CM Kejriwal
Delhi government is scrambling efforts to ensure inoculation continuity amid vaccine shortage
Amid an ongoing shortage of COVID-19 vaccine doses in India, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has assured the availability of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine in the national capital in the coming weeks. Speaking to reporters on Monday, the Delhi CM underlined that the vaccine manufacturers have assured delivery of a Sputnik V consignment to the national capital after June 20.
“We have been assured that after June 20 we will get some doses by the makers,” he said.
He pointed out that the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine is not produced domestically in India, so the Centre is importing the doses from Russia until regional production begins in August. Kejriwal added that a part of the vaccine imports will be directed to Delhi to support the national capital’s inoculation drive.
Grappling with a major vaccine crunch, the Delhi government last month halted the vaccination efforts for the 18-44 age group. He also wrote to PM Modi, suggesting ways to accelerate domestic production of COVID-19 vaccines in India. As infected cases reducing in the national capital, the Delhi government is scrambling efforts to vaccinate the maximum number of people. However, limited vaccine supplies have hindered the process across various inoculation centres.
Meanwhile, Kejriwal set up a free inoculation centre for journalists and their family members for both 18-44 age group and people above 45 years in a bid to boost vaccination efforts in Delhi. Reportedly, the healthcare authorities will be administering the Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine to the people at the centre.
On Tuesday, India received its third and largest shipment of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine from Russia. With more than 3 million vaccine doses and other medical supplies, the consignment arrived at the Hyderabad airport from where it was dispatched to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories after completion of necessary procedures. As per reports, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is expected to supply a total of 18 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine over the course of next two months. The first batch of 210,000 dosesof Sputnik vaccine reached India on May 1.
With around 91.4% efficacy against COVID-19, Sputnik V became the third COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for emergency use by Indian authorities in April. RDIF and Dr Reddy’s have partnered to ensure domestic production and distribution of the vaccine doses in the country, in collaboration with six other pharma companies.
On Tuesday, Kasauli-based Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) issued clearance to the first batch of Sputnik V manufactured in the country. With this development, the imported vaccine priced at Rs 995 per doses is likely to be rolled out across vaccination centre in India by mid-June.