The roll-out of Russian COVID-19 vaccine ''Sputnik V'' at various private hospitals in the Delhi-NCR region has been delayed again, officials said on Sunday.
"We do not have a clarity on the dates of the vaccine roll-out," a spokesman of Apollo Hospitals said.
Indraprastha Apollo here had earlier said that it would tentatively start administering the two-dose vaccine by June 25.
An official of Madhukar Rainbow Children''s Hospital said the facility has also not received Sputnik V doses so far from Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy''s Laboratories, the marketing partner for the vaccine in the country.
"There is a delay on the part of the suppliers. They have not shared any specific reason for it. I think it could be related to the supply of both the doses together," he said.
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.
Sputnik V uses two different viruses that cause the common cold (adenovirus) in humans. The two doses, given 21 days apart, are different and not interchangeable.
Fortis Healthcare, which had said that it would make Sputnik V available at its Gurgaon and Mohali hospitals, has also not started administering the Russian vaccine to people so far.
The Centre has fixed the price of the vaccine at Rs 1,145 per dose. The maximum price of Covishield for private COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs) has been fixed at RS 780 per dose, while that of Covaxin at Rs 1,410 per dose.
Russia''s Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology has developed the vaccine and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is marketing it globally.
Dr Reddy''s Laboratories has been importing the shots from Russia. Over a period of time, the vaccine is also going to be manufactured in India.
According to Gamaleya and the RDIF, Sputnik V has demonstrated an efficacy rate of 92 per cent.