Sputnik V supply dries up in Kolkata; September rollout likely for Indian version – Times of India

Kolkata News
KOLKATA: The supply of Sputnik V vaccines — the third most commonly administered one after Covishield and Covaxin – has come to a halt in Kolkata since the beginning of this month, leaving several hospitals that have been using it since June in the lurch.
Even though the vaccine comes in a single-dose vial, the second dose is provided simultaneously, ensuring that none has to wait to complete inoculation in case supplies stop. But enquiries have been pouring in at hospitals like Medica Superspecialty, Woodlands and RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences (RTIICS), especially from students and businessmen who need to travel, since the gap between doses for Sputnik is just 21 days.

While Sputnik V is imported from Russia by Dr Reddy’s Laboratory, trial for an Indian version of the vaccine is nearing completion and could be rolled out in September by the Hyderabad-based Hetero Group which will manufacture the vaccine and had commissioned trials across the country, including one at Peerless Hospital in Kolkata.
“Our Sputnik V trial patient follow-ups are on and we expect a roll-out in September,” said Hetero Group medical director Shubhadeep Sinha.
But hospitals like Woodlands, that administered 500-600 Sputnik doses a day, have been affected. “The supply stopped on August 1, apparently due to a spiral in demand in Russia. Sputnik’s advantage is that its first dose is different from the second and comes in vials of one dose each. Both doses are supplied together, so unlike Covishield or Covaxin, none has to wait for the second dose now that supply is cut off,” said Rupali Basu, managing director and CEO of Woodlands.
She added that the young preferred it for the gap between Sputnik doses is just three weeks. “It helped those who needed a quick vaccination certificate to travel for studies or business. I strongly request the government to intervene and help us in supply,” Basu said.
RTIICS administered around 200 first doses of Sputnik and 50 second doses every day till last month. “We have enough of first dose stock and a small quantity of second dose and are awaiting replenishment of second doses by this coming week,” said RTIICS zonal head R Venkatesh.
Peerless Hospital administered merely 15 doses of Sputnik V daily on an average. “We still hold enough stocks of both doses to meet the demand. But demand has been very low ever since vaccination began,” said Peerless CEO Sudipta Mitra.
Medica Superspecialty Hospital which was one of the first to introduce Sputnik V in July is left with a few second doses of the vaccine. “We have run out of the first dose and will soon exhaust the second doses. We received nothing this month,” said Medica chairperson Alok Roy. The hospital administered 15-20 doses a day till July.
Meanwhile, the trial results of the Indian version of the vaccine by Hetero have been ‘extremely encouraging’. “Our version has been found to have good immunogenicity which could be more effective than the Indian vaccines we now have. It is modelled on the Russian version with certain modifications,” said Peerless Hospital clinical research director Subhrojyoti Bhowmik, who was involved in the trial.
At present, Sputnik V accounts for less than 10% of doses administered at Kolkata’s private hospitals. “The number will improve appreciably once we start manufacturing it in India and it will have many more takers,” said Sinha.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/sputnik-v-supply-dries-up-sept-rollout-likely-for-indian-version/articleshow/85748495.cms