Covid-19 vaccine rollout: India approves Covaxin, Covishield; what next?

Health Tips

Covid 19 vaccine Covaxin Covishield roll out in IndiaCovid-19 vaccine rollout in India: Management of any possible adverse events following immunization (AEFI) has been taken care of. (Reuters image)As India formally approved two Covid-19 vaccines—Covaxin and Covishield—for emergency use, the focus has now shifted to what next for Covid-19 vaccines rollout in the country! With the two Covid-19 vaccines of Bharat Biotech (Covaxin) and Serum Institute of India (Covishield), the government of India is on the final leg of its preparation for the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines across the country.

NITI Aayog member-Health and chair of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) Dr. Vinod K Paul has said that now that two vaccines have been approved, a schedule for mass vaccination programme is expected “soon”. Both Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech have been asked to keep “significant” doses of their respective Covic-19 vaccines ready. These will be transported to 30 vaccinations hubs spread across places such as Delhi, Chennai, Lucknow, and Panchkula, as per an Indian Express report.

As part of the drive, master trainers have been trained at the national, state, and district levels. Management of any possible adverse events following immunization (AEFI) has been taken care of. Lists of frontline health workers, essential workers, and immunocompromised population are being furnished. The Co-Win App for smartphones is all set to be rolled and this will official app for registration for Covid vaccination. Earlier, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan had revealed that the Central government expected the first phase of vaccination will target around 30 crore people on priority and will be completed by August 2021.

Covaxin Covid-19 vaccine details

Covaxin is a simple two-dose and the only vaccine for above 12 years of age right now, Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella said adding that the firm was planning to do even children trials soon, as per the protocol. Ella said that they would roll out the vaccine as early as possible. Batches have been sent to the government testing lab in Kasauli already, the Bharat Biotech MD said. “Currently, we have 20 million doses. We are aiming to achieve 700 million doses capacity in four facilities – three in Hyderabad and one in Bengaluru. We are encountering so many problems including related to logistics,” Ella said during a media interaction on Monday.

According to documents issued by the Drugs Controller General of India, Covaxin can be administered to a population aged 12 and above in two doses interval of day 0 and day 28. Covaxin has a shelf life of six months when stored at 2 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius.

Covishield Covid-19 vaccine details

Serum Institute of India chief Adar Poonawalla said that his firm has already a stockpile of 40 million to 50 million doses of Covishield at this moment. According to documents by the Drugs Controller General of India, Covishield can be administered to population aged 18 years and above in a two-dose schedule. The second dose must be administered between 4 weeks to 6 weeks. However, the overseas studies data show that the second dose can be administered 12 weeks after the first dose.

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