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Consignment from Pune carrying COVID19 vaccines has arrived at Kolkata Airport, in Kolkata. (ANI)
Consignment from Pune carrying COVID19 vaccines has arrived at Kolkata Airport, in Kolkata. (ANI)

All states have got vaccines for first phase, says Centre

  • Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech said it has successfully shipped the first batch of the vaccines to Ganavaram, Guwahati, Patna, Delhi, Kurukshetra, Bengaluru, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Chennai and Lucknow

NEW DELHI : Putting rest to apprehensions that covid-19 vaccines will be supplied to selected states in the first phase of vaccination drive, the union health ministry on Wednesday said that the procured vaccine doses have been evenly distributed to all states.

In a series of tweets, the ministry of health and family welfare said, “Full initial procurement amount of 1.65 cr doses of #Covishield & #Covaxin vaccines have been allocated to all States/UTs in proportion of Health Care Workers database. Therefore, there is no question of discrimination against any State in allocation of vaccine doses. This is the initial lot of supply of vaccine doses and would be continuously replenished in the weeks to come."As India has been witnessing vaccine politicking for past few months, some sections of the healthcare industry, and political analysts raised concerns that only some states would get vaccines in the first phase of the immunization drive due to political bias.

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The union health ministry in another tweet said that any apprehension being expressed on account of deficient supply is totally baseless and unfounded. “States have been advised to organize vaccination sessions taking into account 10% reserve/wastage doses & average of 100 vaccinations/session/day. Therefore, any undue haste on the parts of States to organize unreasonable numbers of vaccination per site per day is not advised," the union health ministry tweeted.

“The States & UTs have also been advised to increase the number of vaccination session sites that would be operational every day in a progressive manner as the vaccination process stabilizes and moves forward," the health ministry said.

As India plans to begin its mass vaccination program from January 16, to control the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, 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. Both the vaccines have got an emergency use authorisation (EAU) from the Indian drug regulator.

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

The roll-out of covid-19 vaccine will provide priority to the healthcare workers and the frontline workers who are estimated to be around 3 crores, followed by those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities numbering around 27 crores. Study technology frameworks will ensure orderly and smooth implementation of the vaccination drive.

The total number of covid-19 cases continue to rise in the country at a steady rate with 15,968 cases added to the national tally in the last 24 hours. 74.82% of the new cases are concentrated in 7 States and UTs. Kerala reported the maximum daily new cases numbering 5,507 in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra recorded 2,936 new cases while Karnataka reported 751 new cases yesterday, the union health ministry said. The total number of persons found to be positive with the new UK variant genome stands at 102 as on Wednesday. The total tally of covid-19 cases mounted to 1,04,98,776 and the toll touched 1,52,759.

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