Bengaluru-headquartered hospital chain Manipal Hospitals, on June 6, announced that it has extended its COVID-19 vaccine portfolio with the addition of Sputnik V. With this, Manipal said the Russian-made vaccine will be available in the city towards the second half of June. In a statement, the company announced, “Today, the hospital chain collaborates with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories to add the Sputnik V vaccine pilot in its existing vaccine portfolio that comprises Covishield and Covexin.” To date, it is only the third vaccine approved for use against COVID-19 in India along with Covishield and Covaxin (both manufactured in the country).
The rollout of the Sputnik V vaccine by Manipal Hospitals in Bengaluru is part of the limited pilot soft launch that was initiated by Dr Reddy’s in Hyderabad last month. The company said that with the first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine directly transported from Russia, they have invested in creating a robust cold chain storage infrastructure as the vaccine needs to be stored in minus 18 degrees Centigrade. Manipal Hospitals and Dr. Reddy’s said they took extensive efforts to ensure stringent cold chain maintenance as per the required guidelines for the vaccine. The cold chain storage even has a real-time logger which records the temperature every second.
It was earlier reported that Dr Reddy's Laboratories have been importing the vaccines since May and had rolled out the drive in mid-May starting with Hyderabad. Apollo Hospitals had also started rolling out the vaccine in select cities, including Bengaluru, in association with Dr Reddy’s shortly after that.
MV Ramana, CEO – Branded Markets (India & Emerging Markets) of Dr Reddy’s Labs, said: “We are pleased to collaborate with Manipal Hospital in Bengaluru as we scale up our soft pilot launch of the Sputnik V vaccine in India and extend it to more cities ahead of the commercial launch later in June. In the upcoming months, we hope to inoculate as many Indians as possible.”