Covaxin shipped to 11 cities across country: Bharat Biotech
Bharat Biotech on Wednesday shipped Covaxin, their vaccine against Coronavirus disease (Covid-19), to 11 cities, the company announced in a statement.
The 11 cities where vaccines have been sent are Ganavaram, Guwahati, Patna, Delhi, Kurukshetra, Bangalore, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Chennai and Lucknow.
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“After having received the government purchase order for 55 lakh [5.5million] doses, Bharat Biotech shipped the first batch of vaccines (each vial containing 20 doses)… While some shipments have arrived in the respective cities, others will be delivered later this evening. Covaxin is a highly purified and inactivated 2 dose SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, manufactured in a Vero cell manufacturing platform with an excellent safety track record of more than 300 million doses,” the company said in a statement.
Even though it said that 1.65 million vaccine doses were donated to government of India for free, it did not disclose how many doses were shipped in the first batch out of 5.5 million doses that the government had purchased. The remaining doses will be sold at a price of ₹295 plus government taxes.
Covaxin is an indigenous Covid-19 vaccine developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) - National Institute of Virology (NIV).
This indigenous, inactivated vaccine is developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) biocontainment facility in Hyderabad. The vaccine received restricted emergency use approval under clinical trial mode by the national drugs controller early this month.
“The evaluation of COVAXIN™ has resulted in several unique product characteristics including long term persistence of immune responses to multiple viral proteins, as opposed to only the spike protein, and has demonstrated broad spectrum neutralizing capability with heterologous SARS-CoV-2 strains, thus potentially reducing or eliminating escape mutants,” the company statement further read.
“This vaccine has also shown to generate memory T cell responses, for its multiple epitopes, indicating longevity and a rapid antibody response to future infections. Its most critical characteristic is the demonstrated safety profile, which is significantly lower than several other vaccines with published data…,” it added.
Covaxin is presented in multi-dose vials, and can be stored at 2-8ºC.
The product development and clinical trial data thus far has generated 5 publications, which have been submitted to international peer reviewed journals, 4 of which have been accepted and will be published soon. The publication of phase II trial data is undergoing the peer review process.
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