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Sputnik V second dose shortage to delay India's full rollout: Dr Reddy's

Dr. Reddy's had received about 3 million first doses by June 1 and about 360,000 doses of the second by early this month, the company and the Indian government have said.

July 12, 2021 / 07:06 PM IST
Source: Reuters

Source: Reuters


India's full rollout of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine will have to be put on hold until the Russian producer provides equal quantities of its two differing doses, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd said on Monday.

Dr. Reddy's had received about 3 million first doses by June 1 and about 360,000 doses of the second by early this month, the company and the Indian government have said.
"As a matter of responsibility, we would not like to announce a full-fledged commercial launch until we have an equivalent quantity (of the second dose)," Dr. Reddy's said in an e-mail to Reuters.


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 Dr. Reddy's, which originally planned a full rollout in mid-June, is currently running a pilot programme under which more than 195,000 doses have been administered at hospitals across the country.

"It is our commitment to ensure supply of component 2 in equal quantity and on time to all partner hospitals to whom we have supplied dose 1," the company said, declining to share more details ahead of its financial results.

India has approved a gap of 21 days between the two doses.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund, which markets the vaccine abroad, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Indian government expects 100 million locally produced and imported Sputnik V doses to be available in the country between August and December. India is expected to be one of the biggest manufacturing hubs of the vaccine.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

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.

How many types of vaccines are there?

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.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

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.

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India has administered more than 375 million vaccine doses, the world's most after China, inoculating 32% of its estimated 944 million adults with at least one dose.

It is mainly relying on the AstraZeneca shot and one developed at home by Bharat Biotech and the state-run Indian Council of Medical Research.

Daily vaccinations hit a national record of 9.2 million doses on June 21 but have dropped to around 4 million per day.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
Reuters

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