Both vaccine makers had arrived at a price agreement with the government recently.
The central government has asked the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech to supply around 55 lakh doses to 12 centres before 14 January. PTI also reported how the dispatch is likely to start in the early hours of 13 January.
This will be divided into two stages. 38.5 lakh doses will be supplied in the first stage and the remaining 16.5 lakh doses in the second stage. The supply of doses in the second stage will be free of cost, News 18 reported quoting sources.
First Batch of COVID-19 Vaccine Arrives at Several Cities
On the other hand, the first consignment of COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covishield’ was dispatched from Pune’s Serum Institute of India (SII) in the early hours of Tuesday, 12 January.
The vaccines were shipped to 13 cities across the country for a nationwide vaccination drive scheduled for 16 January. Delhi, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Hyderabad have already received the first batches on Tuesday.
Speaking about the delivery, the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) CEO said, “A temperature-controlled facility, ranging from -20 degrees Celsius to +25 degrees Celsius, at our two cargo terminals can efficiently and safely handle COVID-19 vaccines. Both terminals can handle around 5.7 million vials in a day,” according to ANI.
The first consignment of the vaccine arrived at Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, where Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel was present, according to ANI.
Chennai has also received the first batch of Covishield.
Vaccines from SII also reached the Hyderabad airport, where Pradeep Panicker, the airport’s CEO, said that the first consignment of Bharat Biotech vaccine will be going to 11 destinations outside the state by Tuesday evening, according to ANI.
Bengaluru received 6,48 lakh doses of Covishield, which arrived in 54 boxes at the Kempegowda International Airport, The News Minute reported. This is the first consignment out of the total of 7.95 lakh doses in the first phase of vaccine distribution.
Administration of the COVID-19 vaccine in India is slated to begin on 16 January.