NEW DELHI, Jan 13: After the Serum Institute of India (SII), the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech on Wednesday started dispatching its first consignment of Corona vaccine “Covaxin” to be available when India launches its mass immunization programme on January 16.
A company spokesman said Bharat Biotech air-shipped its Covaxin to Ganavaram (Vijaywada), Guwahati, Patna, Delhi, Kurukshetra, Bengaluru, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Chennai, and Lucknow “in the early hours of Wednesday.” Each vial shipped contains 20 doses. But the company did not mention the quantum of vaccines dispatched in the first consignment.
The centre has placed orders for purchase of 55 lakh doses of Covaxin of which the company has agreed to provide 16.5 lakh doses to the centre totally free of cost and the remaining 38.5 lakh doses would be priced at Rs 295 per dose, excluding taxes. The Pune-based SII, which started shipment of its Covishield vaccine on Tuesday, has agreed to provide 100 million doses contracted by the centre at a subsidized rate of Rs 200 per dose.
The Bharat Biotech, which has developed Covaxin indigenously in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology (NIV), also expressed its deepest gratitude to the nation, all clinical trial volunteers and its partners for making this a successful and milestone public-private partnership for the development of India’s first COVID19- vaccine.
Both Covishield and Covaxin, the two vaccines which are currently available, will be administered in two doses, with a gap of 28 days between each dose. The effectiveness will begin 14 days after the second dose. Citizens are expected to stick to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour during and after the vaccination process.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government on Wednesday allowed all schools in the national capital to reopen for Classes 10 and 12 from January 18 in view of board exams. Students will attend schools only with consent of parents and physical attendance is not compulsory, while schools will follow all COVID-19 guidelines.
“In order to conduct activities pertaining to pre-board preparations and practical work, the head of government, aided and unaided recognised schools may call students of Classes 10 and 12 only to school with effect from January 18, 2021,” a senior official at the Directorate of Education (DoE) said.