- India is set to begin mass COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16
- On Wednesday, Covaxin vaccine was air-shipped to 11 cities in India
- 10.99 million doses for Covishield have been dispatched by Serum Institute
New Delhi: The Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) has announced the successful air-shipment of its COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covaxin’ to 11 cities in the country in the early hours of Wednesday. The firm said that it has donated 16.5 lakh doses to the Centre, according to an official statement by the company.
After having received the government purchase order for 55 lakh doses, Bharat Biotech shipped the first batch of vaccines (each vial containing 20 doses) to Ganavaram, Guwahati, Patna, Delhi, Kurukshetra, Bangalore, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Chennai and Lucknow, it stated. While some shipments have arrived in the respective cities, others will be delivered later this evening. This vaccine by Bharat Biotech is India’s totally indigenous COVID-19 vaccine developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Virology (NIV).
This indigenous, inactivated vaccine is developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) biocontainment facility, one of its kind in the world.
On the other hand, Serum Institute of India (SII) has dispatched over 90 per cent of the COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, order by the Government of India. Official sources confirmed to ANI that about 10.99 million doses have been already dispatched from SII facility in Pune and only around 90,000 doses are left to be dispatched.
Sources have also confirmed that the remaining volume of the vaccines will be dispatched either on Wednesday or Thursday from the SII facility. The Government of India had placed an order for 11 million doses from the SII earlier at a price of Rs 200 per dose (only for first 11 million doses).
Dispatch of the vaccines started on Tuesday from the SII facility in Pune and was taken to almost 13 locations with nine different flights from Pune International Airport. According to official sources involved in the transport of the vaccine, three trucks reached Mumbai Airport early on Wednesday morning.
The Maharashtra government provided road transport for their part of delivery and their cold chain storage facility is based at a few kilometers from SII’s facility in Pune.
Health department officials have confirmed that they have received 9.63 lakh doses and the same will be distributed to various districts and municipal corporations across the state.
Covishield and Covaxin, the two COVID-19 vaccines, which have received Emergency Use Authorisation (EAU), have been tested on thousands of people and side-effects are negligible, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, said on Tuesday and noted that the two “are safest of the vaccines”. “Both the vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin) have been authorised for emergency use and there should be no doubt about their safety. They have been tested on thousands of people and side-effects are negligible. There is no risk of any significance,” Dr Paul said at a press conference here. The first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive is scheduled to start from January 16 onwards. Earlier, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said the central government is having close collaboration with states and Union Territories for vaccine roll-out. “All preparations are on track for vaccine roll-out from January 16,” he had said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.