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 on Saturday which officials say will be the 'world's biggest'. The Hyderabad-based vaccinemaker will roll out 14 consignments from its factory today, officials said.
The first consignment, which reportedly included three boxes weighing 80.5 kg, was flown to Delhi by Air India.
Apart from Delhi, the first batch of vaccines (each vial containing 20 doses) have been sent to Ganavaram, Guwahati, Patna, Delhi, Kurukshetra, Bangalore, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Chennai and Lucknow, officials said.
While some shipments have arrived in the respective cities, others will be delivered later this evening.
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 were approved by the country's drug regulator for restricted emergency use earlier this month.
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 Covishield and Covaxin are two-dose vaccines, which will have to be administered at a 28-day gap.