The central government may have procured both Covishield and Covaxin for its vaccination drive, starting Saturday, but many nations are getting to use the previous as of now.
States like Delhi, Andhra Pradesh , Telangana, Punjab are getting to use Serum Institute of India’s Covishield to vaccinate their healthcare and frontline workers within the first phase, while keeping Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin as a “buffer stock”.
States like Chhattisgarh have also expressed concern over the shortage of efficacy data for Covaxin.
On 3 January, the Modi government granted Covaxin emergency use authorisation despite incomplete phase 3 trial data, sparking an issue .
States also said since they need received fewer doses of Covaxin, they’re going to anyway use Covishield first.
Asked that if Covishield is that the default vaccine choice for several states, what was the purpose of giving out Covaxin in such inadequate numbers, NITI Aayog member (health) V.K. Paul told ThePrint, “Whatever vaccines are available are supplied to states within the ratio of registered beneficiaries. the govt has opened for both vaccines and that we are pleased with the very fact that one among them is developed here.
“Whatever vaccine has met the parameters has been approved, this is often just the starting. because the production scales up, systems are going to be built up and whoever qualifies should tend an opportunity ,” he added.
Paul said that “even abroad altogether democracies the way vaccination is occurring is that you simply can’t choose what vaccine you get”.
Delhi, Punjab & Maharashtra
Delhi has received 2,54,540 doses of Covishield and 20,000 doses of Covaxin.
A senior official within the health and family welfare department said: “Covishield are going to be the default for now and if need arises, we’ll use Covaxin and vaccination centres won’t tend a choice.
“We don’t want anyone raising any concerns later so we’ll mostly accompany Covishield first.”
Vaccine booths in Delhi’s 11 districts might get both Covishield and Covaxin. But if a booth gets Covishield, it’ll not get Covaxin later so on avoid confusion, the official said.
She further said vaccines are going to be sent from cold store points to the booth supported random selection.
Punjab, meanwhile, has only received Covishield — 2,04,000 doses.
Rajesh Bhaskar, state programming officer for Covid-19, said: “We haven’t received Covaxin in the least and hence we’ll in fact be relying only on Covishield.”
The Bombay Municipal Corporation too hasn’t received any Covaxin doses either, BMC officials told ThePrint.
Maharashtra has overall received 9.63 lakh doses of Covishield and another 20,000 doses of Covaxin, consistent with a politician handout of the state health department.
Andhra, Telangana & Chhattisgarh
Andhra Pradesh has said since they need received fewer doses of Covaxin, they’re going to prioritise Covishield now.
State Health Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar said they need received 4.7 lakh doses of Covishield and 20,000 doses of Covaxin.
“Since the share variation is anyway such a lot , we’ll prioritise the Covishield and can only be keeping Covaxin as buffer stock for now,” he told ThePrint.
In Telangana also , the plan is to use Covishield to vaccine healthcare workers within the first phase.
“However, Covaxin could be used among some special groups like senior politicians and officialdom here,” a senior state health department official told ThePrint, requesting anonymity.
The official, however, added that since Covaxin was developed within the capital Hyderabad, they need tons of religion in its efficacy.
Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh, meanwhile, has categorically declared that it’s not in favour of using the home-grown Covaxin unless it completes the recommended testing process with absolute authentication and success.
State Health Minister T.S. Singh Deo has last week said it’s “not safe” to use any vaccine, which remains in clinical test mode, unless the security and therefore the details of all phases of testing with aftereffects are observed confidently .