The first batches of Covaxin, Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine, left Hyderabad early this morning for Delhi and 10 other cities, a day after the Serum Institute of India rolled out its COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the vaccination campaign national which, according to officials, will be the “largest in the world”.
The shipment was transported to Delhi by Air India. The shipment would consist of three boxes weighing 80.5 kg.
“Bharat Biotech’s first vaccine shipment is carried by Air India on AI 559 from Hyderabad to Delhi at 6:40 am on Wednesday,” an official quoted by ANI news agency said.
Outside Delhi, vaccines are being sent to Bengaluru, Chennai, Patna, Jaipur and Lucknow, officials said.
The Hyderabad-based vaccinator will deploy 14 batches from his plant today, they added.
According to the Department of Health, 55 lakh doses of Covaxin and 1.1 crore of Covishield doses – produced by the Serum Institute – are being purchased. Both of these vaccines have been approved by the country’s drug regulatory body for restricted emergency use.
Bharat Biotech charges ₹ 295 per dose for 38.5 lakh doses. The company, which has partnered with the Indian Medical Research Council for the vaccine, will donate 16.5 lakh doses to the center for free.
The center has so far received 54.72,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday. “100 percent of doses to be received by Jan. 14 in all states / UTs,” he added.
Both vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin – received emergency use authorization from India’s Drug Controller earlier this month. Both are two-dose vaccines, which should be given 28 days apart.