New Delhi: Several medium- and small-sized hospitals in India may start administering doses of Russian-made Covid vaccine, Sputnik V, from next month, ThePrint has learnt.
Medium- and small-sized private hospitals in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pune, Jaipur and Cochin expect to receive their stocks by June 15.
The hospitals are planning to procure vaccines through their lobby group — the Association of Healthcare Providers India (AHPI) — instead of procuring separately. The AHPI is a body that represents 2,500 super specialty and 8,000 smaller hospitals across India.
“We have been informed that the supply of Sputnik V will begin from 15 June. In the first tranche, we have demanded 1.5 million doses which will be distributed to hospitals in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Calcutta, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pune, Jaipur and Cochin,” AHPI Director-General Girdhar J. Gyani told ThePrint.
The list of hospitals include Narayana Health, Yashoda Hospitals, Ramaiah Memorial Hospitals, AMRI hospitals, Medica Synergie, Mehta Hospital, GEM hospitals, Frontier (TN), Mission Hospital, and Desun Bhagirathi (Kolkata), among others.
Also read: Sputnik V could become part of India’s national vaccination programme after July
The cost of the vaccine won’t exceed Rs 1,200 per dose, the lobby claims.
According to Hyderabad-based Dr. Reddy’s — the company through which Sputnik V is available in India — the cost of the vaccine is Rs 948 along with 5 per cent GST per dose. Hospitals will additionally charge administrative and transportation costs between Rs 150 to Rs 200 per dose.
“The cost of each dose is around Rs 995. Hospitals will charge 150 plus transportation if any. In any case it will be within Rs 200 over the cost of the vaccine,” Gyani said.
Also read: 51 nations’ nod shows Sputnik transparency, Russian researchers reply to doubts raised in Lancet
Talks with SII, Zydus Cadila on
More than 1,500 medium- and small-sized hospitals have also initiated talks with the Serum Institute of India (SII), maker of Covishield, and Zydus Cadila, maker of ZyCoV-D.
“We are expecting to finalise the procurement deal with SII within this week. The talks with Zydus are also fruitful as the company is planning to file for emergency approval soon,” Gyani said. “As soon as the vaccine becomes available for the roll out, we expect them to become available at private hospitals across India.”
The association will also re-initiate talks with Bharat Biotech for the procurement of Covaxin.
Several non-governmental organisations have reached out to AHPI for providing funds to begin vaccination drives for low-income families at private hospitals.
Earlier, the lobby was planning to involve pharmaceutical companies as middlemen for controlling transportation and cold chain storage of vaccines.
“This might have increased the final cost due to the charges paid to the middlemen. Till now, we have decided that hospitals will procure directly from the companies,” he said.
Also read: ZyCoV-D could be India’s next Covid vaccine: Learn the science behind it & how it’s different