Finding the launch of Covaxin in clinical trial mode difficult, Telangana on Saturday administered only Covishield to beneficiaries on the first day of Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Covaxin, manufactured by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech was not used for the rollout. All the beneficiaries in the state were given only Covishield, which has been manufactured by Serum Institute of India, Pune.
At the launch of vaccination at Gandhi Hospital, Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender said only Covishield will be administered as per the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Health officials said 90 per cent of targetted 4,200 beneficiaries were administered the vaccine at 140 centres across 33 districts.
Later, during a video conference with Union Health Minister Dr Harshvardhan, the Telangana Health Minister said it was difficult to administer Covaxin in the format prescribed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Rajender also sought more doses of Covishield. "We request you to send more doses of Covishield. The vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech may be used later," he said.
The Centre has allowed Covaxin in clinical trial mode. Those receiving Covaxin will have to sign consent forms that assured compensation if any adverse effect was found linked to the vaccine.
A few doctors in Delhi on Saturday received Covaxin after signing the consent form.
It was not clear as to when Covaxin will be included in the vaccination programme in Telangana. Health officials claimed that both the vaccines are totally safe and there is no need for any apprehensions.
Director of Public Health G. Srinivas Rao had said on Friday as per Government of India guidelines consent will be taken from those who will be receiving Covaxin shot. Their health status will examined and scrutinized before giving the vaccine and after vaccination they will be monitored for seven days for any adverse events. Similar process will be followed after the second dose which will be given after four weeks.
"We should be proud that Covaxin has been developed indigenously and that too on the soil of Telangana. Nobody should have any worries. If necessary I will take Covaxin in coming days," he said.
The state has received 3.64 lakh doses of Covishield and 20,000 doses of Covaxin.
Rajender sought more doses from the Centre saying the state needs them to cover all healthcare workers and other Covid warriors.
He also highlighted the glitches in Co-Win software developed for Covid vaccine programme and called for fixing them.