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Bharat Biotech will supply 3.85 million doses to the Centre at  ₹295 per doses, and also donate another 1.65 Lakh doses to them for free. (REUTERS)
Bharat Biotech will supply 3.85 million doses to the Centre at 295 per doses, and also donate another 1.65 Lakh doses to them for free. (REUTERS)

Bharat Biotech ships vaccines to 11 cities, more to be dispatched Thursday

  • The Hyderabad-based company did not provide details on how many doses of the vaccine were transported on Wednesday, and neither revealed its distribution plan for the 5.5 million doses it plans to send to the government by Thursday

NEW DELHI: Bharat Biotech International shipped batches of Covaxin, its two-dose covid-19 vaccine, to 11 cities in India on Wednesday, a day after its Pune-based rival Serum Institute of India transported batches of its vaccine Covishield.

However, the Hyderabad-based company did not provide details on how many doses of the vaccine were transported on Wednesday, and neither revealed its distribution plan for the 5.5 million doses it plans to send to the government by Thursday.

Also Read | What's got Indians excited about Covid shot

The Hyderabad-based firm said it has successfully shipped the first batch of the vaccines to Ganavaram, Guwahati, Patna, Delhi, Kurukshetra, Bengaluru, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Chennai and Lucknow in the early hours of Wednesday. Each vial shipped contained 20 doses of the vaccine.

“A moment of pride and accomplishment as the first consignment of Covaxin is dispatched from Bharat Biotech today at 1:00 AM, IST," the company tweeted on Wednesday.

According to the deal signed with the government on Wednesday, Bharat Biotech will supply 3.85 million doses to the Centre at 295 per doses, and also donate another 1.65 lakh doses to them for free. The Centre, which will bear the entire cost of vaccination for 30 million healthcare and other frontline workers, will pay an average price of 206 for each of the 5.5 million shots, excluding taxes.

The government has also signed a deal with Serum Institute to procure 11 million doses at 200 per jab.

Serum Institute had started delivery of its vaccines on Tuesday, with 5.65 million shots already shipped to Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Bengaluru, Lucknow and Chandigarh. Another 139,500 doses of Covishield also arrived in Mumbai early on Wednesday through road transport, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said on its Instagram page.

Both companies have to deliver the vaccines by Thursday, with the government expected to sign another procurement pact with the two companies later.

While Bharat Biotech’s vaccine is a wholly-inactivated virion vaccine, that is an entire killed virus, Serum Institute’s shots involves a chimpanzee adenovirus into which the spike protein genome has been sequenced.

Bharat Biotech has received an emergency licensure from the drug regulator for rollout in ‘clinical trial mode’, which means that every participant will have to give an informed consent before getting the vaccine and is expected to be monitored closely after inoculation. However, the government is yet to release the protocol for the vaccination.

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