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Bharat Biotech vaccine lands in 11 cities for rolling out jabs on Jan 16

Bharat Biotech vaccine lands in 11 cities for rolling out jabs on Jan 16

The first lot of Bharat Biotech's Covid vaccine, Covaxin, were flown out of Hyderabad on Wednesday to Delhi and 10 other cities, a day after Pune-based Serum Institute of India started shipping out stocks of its vaccine ahead of the nationwide inoculation campaign to fight coronavirus starting on Saturday.

The country’s commercial airlines Air India, IndiGo and Spicejet are being used for transporting the vaccines on regular flights.

The first consignment, which reportedly included three boxes weighing 80.5 kg, was flown to Delhi by Air India. Apart from Delhi, the vaccines are being sent to Bengaluru, Chennai, Patna, Jaipur and Lucknow, officials said.

According to the Health Ministry, 55 lakh doses of Covaxin and 1.1 crore doses of Serum Institute’s Covishield are being procured by the government in the first phase. Both these vaccines were approved by the country's drug regulator for restricted emergency use earlier this month.

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said on Tuesday that individuals will not be allowed to choose the vaccine they prefer due to logistical limitations and the products being in short supply.

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 government 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, with the second dose being administered after a 28-day gap..