Home / Science / News /  What is holding up full rollout of Sputnik V covid vaccine in India?

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 today. 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.

The Indian government has approved a gap of 21 days between the two doses. The Hyderabad-based pharma company has already launched Sputnik V in May this year after having received emergency use approval from the government in April.

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.

"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 told Reuters.

"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 is expected to be one of the biggest manufacturing hubs of the Sputnik vaccine. Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia's sovereign wealth fund, had reached agreements earlier with many pharmaceutical companies for production of the vaccine in India. In total, agreements with partners in India provide for production of more than 850 million doses of Sputnik V per year.

India has administered more than 375 million vaccine doses.

It is mainly relying on the Covishield 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.

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