A massive pan-Indian inoculation campaign against COVID-19 has been launched with the Covishield vaccine leaving Pune for 13 cities.

The Center said that 54.72 doses of the COVID-19 lakh vaccine had been received at designated national and state stores until Tuesday afternoon, and that all injections – 1.1 crore from the Serum Institute of India and 55 lakh from Bharat Biotech – will be received by January 14.

A massive pan-Indian vaccination campaign against COVID-19 has been launched with the Covishield vaccine leaving Pune for 13 cities in India early in the morning, four days before the start of the vaccination scheduled for January 16.

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In addition to the 1.1 crore doses of Covishield purchased from the Serum Institute of India, 55 lakh doses of locally developed Covaxin were obtained from Bharat Biotech, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan told a conference Press.

“Fifty-five lakh doses of Covaxin are purchased from Bharat Biotech. For doses of 38.5 lakh, the price is 295 Rs each, excluding taxes. Bharat Biotech is providing 16.5 lakh doses free of charge, which ultimately brings the cost of Covaxin down to Rs 206 per dose, ”he said.

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Mr Bhushan said there are four central government medical store depots in Chennai, Karnal, Kolkata and Mumbai where doses of the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, are received.

In addition, all states have at least one regional vaccine store. Some large states have multiple stores. Uttar Pradesh has nine such stores, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat four each, Kerala has three, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka and Rajasthan two each, he said.

“As we speak, 54.72,000 doses have already been received up to 4 p.m. in these vaccine stores, while 100% of the doses, 1.1 crore from Serum Institute and 55 lakh from Bharat Biotech, will be received. by January 14 in all states and in the Union. Territories, ”added the Secretary of Health.

Dr VK Paul, member of NITI Aayog, Covishield and Covaxin have been tested on thousands of people. “They are the safest and there is no risk of significant side effects.” Mr Bhushan said that Zydus Cadila, Sputnik V from Russia, Biological E and Gennova are the other vaccines which are at an advanced stage of clinical trials in India.

“In the coming days, some of these vaccines could also approach the drug controller for emergency use authorization. There will be a sequential rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination.

“Healthcare workers will be high on the priority list, followed by frontline workers and priority age groups. The cost of vaccination for health and frontline workers will be borne by the central government, ”said the Union’s health secretary.

Giving a price scenario for vaccines available worldwide, Bhushan said that each dose of the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech costs ₹ 1,431 per dose, Moderna ₹ 2,348 to Rs 2,715, Sinovac ₹ 1,027, Novavax ₹ 1,114, Sputnik V less from ₹ 734 and the one developed by Johnson and Johnson at ₹ 734.

“All of these vaccines, except the one developed by Pfizer, can be stored between two and eight degrees Celsius. The one developed by Pfizer should be stored at -70 degrees Celsius, ”he added.

Regarding the effectiveness of vaccines, Mr Bhushan said these can only be seen after 14 days. “We therefore urge people to continue to follow appropriate behavior in COVID.” The health secretary said the five key principles of coronavirus vaccination are to ensure the participation of the population, to use the experience of the elections and the universal immunization program, without compromising on standards scientific and regulatory systems or on existing health services.

Noting that the COVID-19 situation is of concern around the world, he said that even though new daily cases are decreasing in India, there should be no laxity in following appropriate COVID behavior.

The overall COVID-19 positivity rate in India is 5.7%, while the positivity rate in the past week has been recorded at 2%, Bhushan said, adding that around 43.96% of the Total COVID-19 patients are in healthcare facilities while 56.04% of patients are in home isolation.

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