Some of the private hospitals in India have cancelled orders for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.
India is a major production centre of Sputnik V and has a capacity of about 850 million shots a year. Since June this year, Indian distributor Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd only 943,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine have been administered by hospitals.
The mainstay of India’s inoculation drive is the AstraZeneca vaccine, which can be stored in regular refrigerators, unlike Sputnik V, which requires temperatures of -18 degrees celsius, which is impossible to guarantee in most of India. Moreover, it is much more expensive than the other vaccines.
India’s monthly production of the AstraZeneca shot known domestically as Covishield has quadrupled to 300 million doses from April. Covishield accounts for 88 % of India’s inoculations followed by Bharat Biotech’s domestically developed Covaxin.