“Emotional Moment”: First Shipment Of Covishield Leaves Serum Institute For Rollout In India

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In news that beckons hope, the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine Covishield has been shipped from the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune to different cities, ahead of the country’s mass vaccination drive that begins on January 16. Government authorities have stated that approximately 30 crore citizens, top of which are frontline workers and medical staff, will be inoculated in the first phase. Reports suggest 56.5 lakh doses have been transported from the Serum factory to Delhi, Bengaluru, Patna, and other places.

Covishield, known as the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK, which was the first country to authorise its use, has been developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. In India, it has been manufactured by SII. Commemorating the occasion of the first vaccine rollout in India, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said it was an “emotional moment for the team.”

According to NDTV, 478 temperature-controlled boxes of Covishield have been shipped from SII. Prior to their shipment from Pune airport, a puja was also performed. Delhi, Ahmedabad, Vijayawada, Patna, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Shillong, and Bengaluru will reportedly receive the consignment in the first batch.

Also Read: 140,000 Jobs Lost In The US In December Were All Held By Women: Report

Things To Know About Covishield: Price And More

Poonawalla was quoted saying that SII has “given a special price of Rs 200 for the first 100 million doses” to the centre, following “their request that we want to support the common man, vulnerable, poor and healthcare workers.” Later in private markets, Covishield will purportedly be sold at Rs 1,000.

Poonawalla has said that the vaccine may have “mild side effects, but it’s safe.”

“Covishield is safe and can be used effectively for prevention of COVID-19 in the targeted population. Thus, the benefit to risk ratio strongly supports the widespread use of Covishield,” noted the application signed by Prakash Kumar Singh, Additional Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at SII in an earlier release.

The government is planning to launch a WhatsApp chatbot that will help the citizens understand their queries regarding the COVID-19 vaccination. An official informed that the algorithms have been completed. Read more here.

Also Read: Delhi HC Seeks AAP Government’s Approval To Declare All Child Marriages As Void

When Will Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin Be Rolled Out?

Meanwhile, India’s indigenously developed vaccine Covaxin by Bharat Biotech is also set for a rollout soon. The Health Ministry stated that 55 lakh Covaxin vaccines have been procured by the government at a cost of Rs 206 per dose. Out of these, Bharat Biotech has claimed it will supply 16.5 lakh doses free of cost to the government. 

According to news agency ANI, Bharat Biotech has also signed an agreement to supply Covaxin to Brazil.

Dr VK Paul of NITI Aayog said on Tuesday about both Covishield and Covaxin, “They have been tested on thousands of people and side-effects are negligible. There is no risk of any significance.”

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“Emotional Moment”: First Shipment Of Covishield Leaves Serum Institute For Rollout In India
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