As both Covishield and Covaxin doses begin to arrive at states across the country, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday, said that the government had purchased 1.1 crore COVISHIELD vaccine doses and 55 lakh COVAXIN vaccine shots. Stating that Serum Institute of India (SII)'s COVISHIELD will cost Rs 200 per dose while COVAXIN's 38 lakh shots will cost Rs 295/dose, Centre said 16.50 lakh COVAXIN doses were provided free of cost. With the two doses spaced by 4 weeks, Centre said that inoculation effect takes 14 days to develop after the administration of the two dosages.
He added that vaccine beneficiaries will not have a choice to choose between the available vaccines, as it was being done by all countries. By Jan 14 all vaccine doses 1.10 cr from Serum Institute and 55 lakh from Bharat Biotech, will be received by in all states/UTs assured the Centre. With over 54 lakh Covishield doses received till 4 pm Tuesday at designated national, state-level vaccine stores, Centre said that order for more doses will be placed in a staggered manner, as discussed between the vaccine manufacturers and the government. Meanwhile, ICMR chief Dr. Balram Bhargava said, "During the first phase, the time gap between the doses will be 28 days, till more knowledge is obtained".
On Monday, assured that state governments will not have to bear the cost of vaccines to be injected to 3 crore frontline warriors in the first phase. While interacting with all state CMs on the vaccine rollout, PM Modi also announced the launch of the Co-WIN app which is mandatory for receiving the vaccine shot. The app is not yet available to the general public. The Prime Minister also opined that public representatives (MP and MLAs) must not get be included in the 1st phase of vaccination.
Vaccine rollout will begin from January 16 across India with the help of 61,000 programme managers, 2 lakh vaccinators and 3.7 lakh other vaccination team members. Delivery of both COVISHIELD and COVAXIN vaccine shots have been dispatched to various states. Centre has completed two nationwide 'dry runs' across 700+ districts in India successfully. Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted permission for restricted use in an emergency situation to vaccines of Serum Institue of India (Covishield) and Bharat Biotech (Covaxin).