Chhattisgarh finally starts using Covaxin

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Raipur, Mar 15 (PTI) Nearly two months after the launch of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive, the Chhattisgarh health department on Monday started using the indigenous Covaxin vaccine.

So far, only the Serum Institute of India-made Covishield vaccine was being used in the state as the state government had said it would not administer Covaxin doses until its third phase of trials was completed.

'As many as 80 people were vaccinated with Covaxin on Monday at Dr B R Ambedkar Memorial Hospital here,' Mission Director for the National Health Mission Priyanka Shukla told PTI.

'We started administering this vaccine only at one centre on Monday. From Tuesday it will be administered at other government medical colleges too,' she said.

The vaccine will be administered to only those who want to take it, said Shukla, who is also the state nodal officer for the coronavirus vaccination drive.

Health Minister T S Singh Deo had said on Sunday that the state government was considering allowing the use of Covaxin after it was dropped from the `clinical trial mode' by the Centre.

In February, the minister had locked horns with Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan after requesting the Centre to stop the supply of Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech, to the state until its phase 3 trial results were available.

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