Amid Low Demand, Private Hospitals Cancel Orders for Russia's Sputnik V Vaccine
Additionally, the intense cold storage required for the vaccine has also prompted the cancellations from hospitals.
With the government providing free COVID-19 vaccines in the country, at least three prominent private hospitals have cancelled their orders for Russia's Sputnik V vaccine amid little demand.
Additionally, the intense cold storage required for the vaccine has also prompted the cancellations from private hospitals.
A senior medical official at the Pune-based Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College and Hospital, Jitendra Oswal, said, "With storage and everything, we have cancelled our order for 2,500 doses."
Oswal added that only a minimal percentage of people – barely 1% – have opted for Sputnik, Reuters reported.
Besides Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College and Hospital, Avis Hospital in Hyderabad has also reportedly scrapped its orders for 10,000 Sputnik V doses. Another Pune-based hospital, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated that it has also cancelled its orders.
The Indian distributor Dr Reddy's Laboratories had tied up with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and launched Sputnik V in June. Since then, only 943,000 doses out of the 876 million distributed in India were the Sputnik jabs.
Dr Reddy's declined to comment, Reuters reported.
According to the Health Ministry data, private hospitals have only distributed 6% of all vaccines administered in the country since May until last week, even with the Union government authorising them to acquire up to a quarter of domestic output.
In view of low domestic demand, many are already supporting higher exports out of India, which is a major production centre of the Russian vaccine, Reuters reported.
The health ministry has reportedly not yet responded to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, the country's monthly production of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, known domestically as Covishield, has quadrupled to 300 million doses from April, Reuters reported.
Out of all inoculations in the country, Covishield, which is being administered for free at government vaccination centres, accounts for 88% of them.
(With inputs from Reuters.)
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