New Delhi [India], January 12 (ANI): Ahead of the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive scheduled to start from January 16, India's first consignment of COVID vaccine "'Covidshield" was transported from Pune to 13 locations across the country on Tuesday.
Covishield is among the two coronavirus vaccines in India that have been given approval for emergency use authorisation.
Amid tight security, three trucks carrying the very first consignment of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine left for Pune airport today.
"A total of eight flights - two cargo flights and other regular commercial flights will carry the vaccines," said Sandip Bhosale, SB Logistics, the logistics team which is handling air transport of Covishield vaccine from Pune International Airport told ANI.
The locations include Delhi, Karnal, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubhaneshwar, Kolkata, and Guwahati.
SpiceJet carried India's first consignment of Covid vaccine consisting of 34 boxes and weighing 1,088 kilograms from Pune to Delhi, said Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet.
Delhi received 2,64,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine "Covishield" today, said B L Sherwal, Director Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital from where the vials will be transported to the vaccination centres soon.
Chennai also received the first batch of vaccine, informed an official notification. Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan informed that 5.56 lakh COVID vaccine doses have been dispatched from Pune for Tamil Nadu.
Telangana received the first pack of COVID-19 doses, Bharat Biotech to supply its vaccine to 11 destinations today.
"The first consignment of COVID vaccines from Serum Institute has arrived at Hyderabad airport. The first consignment of Bharat Biotech will be going to 11 destinations outside the state by this evening," airport's CEO Pradeep Panicker told media.
Dr.Srinivas Rao, Director of Public Health and Family Welfare said, "Today is a historical day in the history of modern medicine as we are able to come out with a vaccine within a span of 10 months
West Bengal, Gujarat and Bihar also received the first consignment among other States.
On the other hand, 6.48 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine in 54 boxes has arrived in Bengaluru today, and they have been stored in a storage facility near Anand Rao circle, said Health and Medical Education Minister Dr.K.Sudhakar.
After the first consignment containing vials of coronavirus vaccine "Covishield" were dispatched from the Pune factory, Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India on Tuesday termed it a historic moment and said the main challenge is to make the vaccine available to everyone in the country.
Pune-based logistic firm Kool-ex Cold Chain tasked with ferrying the vaccine stocks via tech-enabled trucks laced with temperature control features ranging from -25 degrees to +25 degrees Celsius.
Serum Institute of India (SII) has received a purchase order from the Government of India for 11 million doses of Covishield vaccine, which would be available at the price of Rs 200 per dose, SII officials had said on Monday.
The first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country is starting from January 16.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier said around 3 crore healthcare workers and frontline workers will be vaccinated in the first phase of vaccination.
"In the second phase, those above 50 years and those under 50 years with co-morbid conditions will be vaccinated," he added. (ANI)