Bharat Biotech's Covaxin has been approved by 11 states for inoculation in the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. The vaccination drive which begins tomorrow i.e January 16 will cover 10 million healthcare workers. Out of the 11 states that have agreed to deploy the Covaxin, five are opposition-ruled.
According to an Economic Times report, every state will dedicate six centres to Covaxin. This would roughly work out to 3-5% vaccination centres depending on the size of the state. These numbers could surge as the public immunisation programme broadens its scope and reach.
Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Maharashtra, Bihar, Karnataka, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana are the states which have said yes to the Covaxin.
Ten of these states have already received 20,000 doses of Covaxin, while Assam has so far got 12,000 doses.
Tamil Nadu health secretary J Radhakrishnan confirmed the state had identified six centres from its list of 160 vaccination sites for administering Covaxin.
A Delhi government spokesperson also confirmed that of its 81 vaccination centres, six will be dedicated for the Bharat Biotech vaccine.
Oxford/AstraZeneca's Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Bharat Botech's Covaxin were granted emergency use approval earlier this month.
There has been mounting criticism over India's approval of Covaxin with opposition lawmakers and health experts criticising it for lack of efficacy data, typically obtained from a large, Phase III human trial - which the manufacturer is still conducting.
Opposition-ruled states like Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Jharkhand have spoken against the move. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee too had raised the issue of safety of Covid-19 vaccines in the Prime Minister's meeting with chief ministers on Monday.
However, the health ministry has maintained its stance on the vaccines being safe and effective.