Why New Covid Vaccines, Sputnik, Corbevax will Face Low Demand in India?

    Vaccination drives at most private hospitals were suspended due to the low turnout, as the State government in States such as Tamil Nadu has started administering Covaxin and Covishield free of cost.

    According to data from the Directorate of Public Health, just 10,000 Sputnik V doses have been administered in private hospitals across the state of Tamil Nadu thus far. In the meantime, the state has received 8.2 million Covishield and 1.5 crore Covaxin dosages. Many private hospitals in have been unable to purchase the Russian-made COVID vaccination Sputnik V for months due to low demand.

    Each dose of Sputnik V is priced at Rs 995 plus a service fee of Rs 150 and is available from Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in India. Two dosages, each of which has a different makeup, are given 21 days apart. The vaccine’s unpopularity stemmed from its peculiar formulation.

    Meanwhile today, a second COVID-19 vaccine for children and teens has received emergency use authorisation in India. Biological E Ltd’s Corbevax has got EUA for adolescents between 12 and 18 years, the vaccine-maker said in a statement today.

    Till now India has been administering Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin to teens between 15 and 18 years old since January 3.

    The EUA, short for emergency use authorisation, for Corbevax’s restricted use in emergency among adults was cleared by the regulator Drugs Controller General of India in December 2019.

    The reason for low demand for new vaccines seems to be growing, as the Hospitals had to buy the first and second doses separately since each has a different adenovirus, and this made stock management difficult, say hospital officials. The government’s aggressive vaccination drive too made people less dependent on private hospitals.

    Poor Demand will take its toll on New Covid19 Vaccines in India, as India’s is near close to accomplish total vaccination

    New Covid Vaccines in India
    New Covid vaccines in India – Corbevax and Sputnik

    Fortis Hospital, Vadapalani, which rolled out the vaccine in July, stopped administering it two months ago. “Now, only Covaxin is in demand since it has been approved as a booster dose, and also for the 15-18 age group. Covishield was popular initially because of passport issues and other things, but the demand has dropped now,” says Dr Sanjay Pandey, zonal director, Fortis Hospitals, Chennai.

    State government have commenced administering Covaxin and Covishield free of cost

    Also, Sputnik V had to be bought in large quantities, but the demand was low. “We could have only bought 7,000-8,000 doses. In all, we have 500 doses of all vaccines, which will last till the end of March,” Pandey adds, explaining that the hospital has always only procured small quantities of vaccines.

    Initially, the demand for Covaxin was low as it hadn’t yet been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). At this time, hospitals gathered stock of Covishield and Sputnik V, say doctors.

    Sputnik V was also popular since it had an efficacy of more than 90 per cent. But there was a problem as the interval between the two doses was short, and many hospitals couldn’t procure the second dose on time, says Dr JA Jayalal, immediate past president, Indian Medical Association (IMA).

    New Vaccines approvals has come a tad bit late, as the nation is already close to total immunization against Covid 19, and also the vaccines which are being administered have upped their production and are available in large quantities.


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