Bharat Biotech begins dispatch of Covaxin doses to 22 cities. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Jan 22 : Vaccine maker Bharat Biotech has started the supply of the second consignment containing over 25 lakh doses of 'Covaxin' vaccine to 22 cities across the country, including Delhi and Mumbai on Friday morning as India picks up the pace to vaccinate millions of people.

Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, along with Serum Institute of India's Covishield vaccine are part of the government's mass vaccination programme against Covid-19, which commenced on January 16.

"Second shipment of Covaxin is being sent to 22 locations. By today evening or Saturday, the transportation will be over," a top source privy to the development said, adding that the first flight to transport the jabs left early Friday morning .

According to the vaccine dispatch details, 25,66,860 doses of the vaccine in 1,28,343 vials will be ferried. Each 10 ml vial contains 20 doses. They are to be flown from Hyderabad to the Government Medical Store Depot of Chennai, Karnal, Kolkata and Mumbai.

India's indigenous vaccine is also slated to go to another place in Gannavaram in Andhra Pradesh, Kurukshetra, Patna, Lucknow, Guwahati, Kolkata Salt Lake, Jaipur, Gandhi Nagar and Bhopal.

It is additionally being taken to Delhi, Raipur, Ranchi, Thiruvananthapuram, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Pune, Bhubaneswar and Hyderabad.

About 2,33,080 doses are being sent to Chennai, highest amongst all, followed by 1,56,820 to Hyderabad, 1,52,000 to Jaipur and 1,50,400 to Delhi, Pune, Bhopal and Gandhi Nagar each.

On January 13, three day before the commencement of nationwide inoculation drive, the first tranche of 2.4 lakh Covaxin doses was flown to eleven cities -- Andhra Pradesh, Guwahati, Patna, Delhi, Kurukshetra, Bengaluru, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Chennai and Lucknow.

Even though the vaccine is marred by controversies due to the insufficient trial data, it is being used to inoculate healthcare and frontline workers. Many prominent doctors have even taken it to dispel the rumours and hesitancy.

Covaxin is India's totally indigenous Covid-19 vaccine developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology (NIV).

The inactivated vaccine is developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech's BSL-3 (Biosafety Level 3) biocontainment facility, one of its kind in the world.

(Aakanksha Khajuria can be contacted at aakanksha.k@ians.in)

 Latest updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text

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