Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V that was launched for the vaccination drive in India on Friday is now available on the CoWIN portal. However, it must be mentioned that the vaccine is not currently slotted in any of the centres. The vaccine is being administered at the Apollo Hospital at Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad but only for beneficiaries above 45 years. At the time of publishing all the slots in Apollo -- paid -- were booked.
Registration on the portal is mandatory for vaccination of people aged 18-44 years. The portal offers a series of tabs including Age 18+, Age 45+, Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik V, Free and Paid now.
The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine was administered on Friday in Hyderabad. Sputnik V has been priced at Rs 948 + 5 per cent GST per dose, amounting to Rs 995. However, the vaccine is being administered at a price of Rs 1,250 per dose at Jubilee Hills Apollo.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) plans to start manufacturing of the vaccine in India subsequently. The RDIF has said that once it is manufactured in India, the prices will drop.
The central government had earlier said that the vaccine will be available from this week. So it is likely that more centres will be updated with the vaccine soon. "I'm happy to say that we're hopeful that it'll be available in the market next week. We're hopeful that the sale of the limited supply that has come from there (Russia), will begin next week," Niti Aayog member VK Paul said on Thursday.
The RDIF is also planning to soon bring its one-dose vaccine Sputnik V Light to India. RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said, "We hope for the introduction of Sputnik V Light in India soon." Sputnik Light is a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. It could become the first such vaccine to be released in the country.