The first consignment of Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech was carried from Hyderabad to Delhi via a flight on Wednesday. According to the officials, "The first consignment of vaccine from Bharat Biotech is being carried by Air India on AI 559 from Hyderabad to Delhi on Wednesday at 0640 hours." Covishield and Covaxin, the two COVID-19 vaccines which have received Emergency Use Authorisation (EAU) have been tested on thousands of people and side-effects are negligible, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, said on Tuesday and noted that the two "are safest of the vaccines".
"Both the vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin) have been authorized for emergency use and there should be no doubt about their safety. They have been tested on thousands of people and side-effects are negligible. There is no risk of any significance," Dr Paul said at a press conference.
The first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive is scheduled to start on January 16.
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that the Central government is having a close collaboration with states and union territories for vaccine roll-out.
"All preparations are on track for vaccine roll-out from January 16," he said.
Covaxin is being indigenously developed byBharatBiotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) - National Institute of Virology (NIV).
The indigenous, inactivated vaccine is developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech's BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) bio-containment facility, the firm had earlier said.