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Sputnik V India’s third Covid vaccine is now available: how much will you have to pay?

Sputnik V Made by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow. Sputnik V is a two-dose Covid-19 vaccine, which has an efficacy of over 91 per cent, according to a publication in scientific journal The Lancet.

In India, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories is the local distribution partner for Sputnik V. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories on Friday said it had launched Sputnik V in India. The vaccine is currently the second most expensive Covid-19 jab in the country.

The company said it is working closely with its six manufacturing partners to fulfil regulatory requirements to ensure a smooth and timely supply. The first dose of the vaccine was also administered in Hyderabad on Friday as part of a limited pilot and soft launch of Sputnik V in India.

Sputnik V is a two-dose Covid-19 vaccine using a similar platform to Covishield — the most widely used vaccine in India since the government’s immunisation programme began in January.

However, unlike Covishield, which uses a weakened common cold “adenovirus” that affects chimpanzees, Sputnik V makes use of two different human adenoviruses.

The vaccine has an efficacy of over 91 per cent, according to a publication in scientific journal The Lancet. This means it has the ability to bring down symptomatic Covid-19 cases by over 91 per cent in those vaccinated compared with those who have not received a Covid vaccine.

In a press report Niti Aayog Mr. V. K. Paul said I’m happy to say that we’re hopeful that it’ll be available in the market next week. We’re hopeful that the sale of the limited supply that has come from there (Russia), will begin next week,”

How many doses will Sputnik add to India’s vaccination efforts?

So far, DRL has only received 150,000 doses of this vaccine from Russia. The company expects more doses soon. According to its agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which has been in charge of signing agreements for supply of this vaccine across the world. India is expected to get at least 250 million doses, which will be sufficient to inoculate 125 million people. However, it is unclear by when these doses will be supplied and distributed in India.

Capacity to make around 850 million doses of the vaccine is also being set up in India through pacts inked with various biotechnology companies.

How much will Sputnik V cost?

The imported vaccine has been priced at Rs 948 per dose. However, including 5 per cent Goods and Services Tax, the price of this vaccine goes up to Rs 995.40 per dose.

DRL says the price might go down once local supplies begin. It is unclear when this is expected to happen.

How does this price compare to other Covid-19 vaccines?

Covishield, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, is cheaper than Sputnik V at the moment. It is provided to States at Rs 300 per dose, while it is priced at Rs 600 per dose to private hospitals.

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin — the other Covid vaccine supplied in India — is the most expensive Covid-19 vaccine in India’s portfolio of vaccines so far. It is priced at Rs 400 per dose for States and sold at Rs 1,200 per dose to private hospitals.

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