Delhi govt has written to Dr Reddy's for 67 lakh doses of Sputnik V vaccine: Kejriwal

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New Delhi, May 15 (PTI) Amid vaccine shortage faced by Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said his government has written to Dr Reddy's Laboratories for supply of around 67 lakh doses of Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V.

Dr Reddy's Laboratories launched Sputnik V -- the first foreign-made vaccine being used in the country -- on Friday.

Kejriwal's announcement came after Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had claimed earlier this week that Covaxin manufacturer Bharat Biotech had refused to provide additional doses to the national capital.

'We have asked for 67 lakh doses each of Covishield and Covaxin and have written to Dr Reddy's who are dealers of Sputnik in India for nearly the same quantity,' Kejriwal told reporters.

The response from Dr Reddy's is awaited, the chief minister said.

'We have asked them (Dr Reddy's) how many doses and by what time they can provide. No response has come from their side as yet,' Kejriwal said.

The company had on Friday said the imported doses of the vaccine are presently priced at a maximum retail price of Rs 948, with 5 per cent GST per dose, amounting to Rs 995.4 per dose.

Only three vaccines have been approved to be sold in India -- Covaxin, Coveshield and Sputnik V. Sputnik V has been approved to be imported from Russia by Dr Reddy's, but is yet to be widely available in the country.

Talking to reporters on Saturday, Kejriwal said that experience of many countries shows that coronavirus infection can be reduced through mass vaccination.

He expressed hope that the vaccination programme in the country will pick up pace with the increased availability of jabs.

Sputnik V uses two different vectors for the two shots in a course of vaccination.

Its efficacy was determined to be 91.6 per cent according to a published article in the medical journal Lancet.

Earlier this week, Sisodia had announced that the Delhi government would float a global tender for procuring coronavirus vaccines.

Sisodia had also alleged that the BJP-ruled Centre was forcing the states to compete and fight in the international market for vaccines. PTI VIT BUN SMN SMN

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