The first batches of Covaxin, the Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine, left Hyderabad early this morning for Delhi and 10 other cities, a day after Serum Institute of India rolled out its vaccine against COVID-19 ahead of the nationwide inoculation drive which officials say will be the ‘world’s biggest’.
The consignment was flown to Delhi by Air India. The consignment reportedly included three boxes, weighing 80.5 kg.
“The first consignment of vaccine from Bharat Biotech is being carried by Air India on AI 559 from Hyderabad to Delhi on Wednesday at 0640 hours,” an official was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Apart from Delhi, the vaccines are being sent to Bengaluru, Chennai, Patna, Jaipur and Lucknow, officials said.
The Hyderabad-based vaccinemaker will roll out 14 consignments from its factory today, they added.
According to the Health Ministry, 55 lakh doses of Covaxin and 1.1 crore doses of Covishield – produced by Serum Institute – are being procured. Both these vaccines have been approved by the country’s drug regulator for restricted emergency use.
Bharat Biotech is charging ₹ 295 per dose for 38.5 lakh doses. The company, which has partnered with the Indian Council of Medical Research for the vaccine, will give 16.5 lakh doses to the centre free of cost.
The centre has received 54,72,000 doses of vaccines against the coronavirus so far, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday. “100 percent doses to be received by January 14 in all states/UTs,” it added.
Both the vaccines — Covishield and Covaxin — received emergency use approval from the Drug Controller of India earlier this month. Both are two-dose vaccines, which will have to be administered at a 28-day gap.