BENGALURU: A day after Karnataka received the first consignment of the Covishield vaccine, the state is set to receive doses of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. Deputy Director for immunisation at the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Rajani Nageshrao, told The New Indian Express, “We are expecting 40,000 doses of Covaxin, of which 20,000 will arrive on Wednesday. The Serum Institute (of India) has sent more (Covishield) vaccines and that will be used for now in Phase I, for health care workers and frontline workers.”
However, with the state set to have both vaccines, it is unclear which category of people will receive Covaxin. Managing Director of the National Health Mission, Arundhati Chandrashekar, said, “We are yet to decide which districts will receive how many doses of vaccines. The cost of vaccines for health care and frontline workers will be borne by the Union government, but the state government is yet to take a call on whether charges will be levied on vaccines when it is distributed for the general public.”
Phase 3 clinical trials - which test for efficacy - of Covaxin are currently underway and the results are likely to be ready by March. Although both Covishield and Covaxin are two-dose vaccines, they are of different types and one must receive two doses of the same vaccine. The list of health workers - both public and private - who have registered with the health department was finalised on Tuesday night. The government has identified 235 vaccination sites.
In BBMP and Bengaluru Urban limits, KC General Hospital, Sir CV Raman General Hospital, Jayanagar General Hospital, Victoria Hospital, St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, East Point College of Medical Sciences, Mallasandra Urban Primary Health Centre, Yelahanka Taluk Hospital, KR Puram Taluk Hospital, Anekal Taluk Hospital, and Kannuru Primary Health Centre, have been identified as vaccination sites but this may be subject to change, department officials said.
“More people will be vaccinated after four months as more vaccines would be manufactured by then. Staff are trained for safe handling and transportation of vaccines. There is no doubt about the efficiency of officials of the health department. Everything is being carried out as per rules. Two lakh staff have been trained to administer vaccines,” said Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar.