HYDERABAD: The third and largest consignment of Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V landed in Hyderabad from Russia in the wee hours of Tuesday.
The latest consignment comprises nearly 3 million doses of the Sputnik V as well as bulk substance that is meant for fill-finish at Panacea Biotec, sources said.
The shipment of 56.5 MT, which arrived on a specially chartered freighter RU-9450 and touched down at 3.43am at Hyderabad airport, is also the largest import consignment of vaccines to be handled in India till date, GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo (GHAC) said.
GHAC said the processing of the shipment at the airport was completed in less than 90 minutes after which it was dispatched to Dr Reddy’s Labs, the Indian partner of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
In the first shipment that landed on May 1, RDIF had shipped 1.5 lakh doses of the first component of the vaccine — rAd26, while in the second shipment that landed on May 16 comprised 60,000 doses of the second component of the vaccine – rAd5.
Dr Reddy’s announced a soft launch of the vaccine in India on May 14, with a limited pilot to test the cold chain being conducted by administering the vaccine to its own employees in tie-up with Apollo Hospitals.
The vaccine is slated to be rolled out in a full fledged manner by mid-June once the latest consignment is approved after testing at the Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) at Kasauli. The process is expected to take a couple of weeks.
The imported doses of the vaccine have been priced at Rs 995 per dose, including a GST of 5%, by Dr Reddy’s Labs.