Dr Reddy's Labs (DRL) on June 13 said the limited pilot soft launch of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine has now been scaled up to cities such as Visakhapatnam, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi, reported CNBC-TV18. The limited pilot soft launch of the vaccine was first initiated in Hyderabad on May 14.
DRL said the initiative would help test cold storage and other logistical arrangements before the vaccine's commercial launch. Since it's a part of the pilot phase, people cannot register themselves and have to wait for the commercial launch.
Earlier on June 9, Rockwell Industries, a cold chain appliance manufacturer announced its strategic partnership with DRL, to provide its World Health Organisation - Performance, Quality and Safety certified Covid-19 vaccine freezers to enable storage of Sputnik V vaccine in India.
Rockwell had said that the vaccine freezer plays a very critical role in the safety of vaccines and its potency as Russia's Sputnik V vaccine requires a temperature range of minus 18 degrees celsius, to keep it stable and potent.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
"Our technology ensures that Sputnik V's storage management at vaccine centres meets the stringent refrigeration standards set forth by Sputnik V manufacturers," Managing Director of Rockwell Industries Ashok Gupta said.
Apart from this, Rockwell added that it will provide end-to-end logistics and after sales service support for the vaccine freezers across India. Hospitals like AIG Hospitals, Apollo, Omega and Care Hospitals are already using Rockwells Vaccine Freezers for vaccine storage.On June 13, news agency ANI reported that Russia's Sputnik V is likely to be available at Delhi's Indraprastha Apollo Hospital from next week.