Representative image of the Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine being imported by Dr. Reddy's Laboratory for distribution in India
Dr Reddy's Laboratories has said that the imported doses Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine have been priced at Rs 948 + 5 percent GST (Rs 995.40) per dose.
The pharmaceutical company also said a soft launch of the vaccine began in Hyderabad, with the first dose administered on May 14.
Dr Reddy's Laboratories said the price of the shot can be lowered when domestic production begins.
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"The imported doses of the vaccine are presently priced at an MRP of Rs 948 + 5 percent GST per dose, with 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," Dr Reddy's Laboratories said in a BSE filing.
The company said that more consignments of imported doses are expected over the coming months. The first consignment of imported doses arrived on May 1, and received regulatory clearance from the Central Drugs Laboratory, Kasauli, on May 13.
"The Company is working closely with its six manufacturing partners in India to fulfill regulatory requirements to ensure smooth and timely supply," Dr Reddy's Laboratories said in the filing.
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The vaccine was granted Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) in India in April, but the roll-out had not yet begun.
Data from Phase 3 clinical trials has shown that Sputnik V has an efficacy of 91.6 percent. The jab was developed by Russia's Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.
Dr VK Paul, chairman of the National Expert Committee on Vaccine Administration, said on May 13 that Sputnik V is likely to be available in the market from next week.
While India's vaccination drive has been expanded to include individuals in the 18-44 age group, there is a shortage of doses. The country is continuing to register more than 3 lakh new COVID-19 cases and around 4,000 deaths a day during the second wave of infections.