Bharat Biotech today airshipped its indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine, COVAXIN, to 11 cities across the country, donating 16.5 lakh doses to the government of India. The vaccine maker has received a purchase order of 55 lakh doses from the Centre though it is yet to complete phase III clinical trials after receiving emergency authorization.

According to a statement released by Bharat Biotech the company has shipped the first batch of vaccines to Ganavaram (Vijayawada), Guwahati, Patna, Delhi, Kurukshetra, Bangalore, Pune, Bhubaneshwar, Jaipur, Chennai and Lucknow. Each vial of vaccine contains 20 doses and can be stored between 2 and 8 degree Celsius .

This indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine was manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s Biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) containment facility in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-National Institute of Virology.

COVAXIN is a highly purified and inactivated 2-dose SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and according to the maker the product development and clinical trial data has so far generated 5 publications which have been submitted to international peer reviewed journals, 4 of which have been accepted and will be published.

The publication of phase II trial is undergoing the peer review process but the absence of the critical phase III data has given rise to scepticism among some experts over the public rollout.

The company expressed “its deepest gratitude to the nation, all the clinical trial volunteers and its partners for making this a successful and milestone public-private partnership for the development of India’s first Covid-19 vaccine.”

2 K’taka districts receive 2.5 lakh doses

Two districts of Karnataka on Wednesday received 2.52 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine, Covishield, as health minister K Sudhakar said the state would soon also get 20,000 doses of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, adds PTI from Bengaluru.

The minister said the only difference between the two vaccines is Covishield has five ml of vaccine in a vial and Covaxin has 10 ml.