‘No Doubt About Safety’: Centre Ahead of COVID Vaccine Rollout
The government is procuring 1.1 crore doses of Covishield from SII and 55 lakh doses of Covaxin from Bharat Biotech.
With the preparations for the COVID-19 vaccination drive in full swing ahead of the rollout on 16 January, NITI Ayyog Member (Health) Dr VK Paul said on Tuesday, 12 January, that there should be no doubt about the safety of the two approved vaccine candidates – ‘Covishield’ and ‘Covaxin’.
"They have been tested on thousands of people and the side-effects are negligible. There is no risk of any significance," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI at the Health Ministry briefing on Tuesday.
Giving details regarding the procurement of the two vaccines, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan pointed out that the Government of India is procuring 1.1 crore doses of 'Covishield' from the Serum Institute of India at a cost of Rs 200 per dose, excluding taxes.
For Covaxin, 55 lakh doses are being procured from Bharat Biotech, of which 38.5 lakh doses will cost Rs 295 each (excluding taxes) and the rest of the 16.5 lakh doses will be provided by the manufacturer for free as a "special gesture", the government representative said. This will bring the effective price of each dose to Rs 205, he added.
The government said all these vaccine doses being procured will be received in all states and Union territories by 14 January, reported PTI.
Over 54 lakh ‘Covishield’ doses had already been received till 4 pm on Tuesday at the designated national and state-level vaccine stores, it pointed out.
Calling the COVID-19 situation worrisome globally, the Health Ministry representative said laxity cannot be shown even though daily new cases are declining in India.
The rollout of the two COVID-19 vaccines on 16 January would come days after they received emergency use approval from India's top drug regulator. Three dry runs have been conducted in the country to prepare for the actual vaccination drive and identify gaps in management and administration that could be plugged.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI.)
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