Serum Institute of India sends out first Covishield vaccine consignments to 13 locations

Three temperature-controlled trucks, amid tight security, rolled out of the Serum Institute of India with their cargo shortly before 5 am on January 12. 

Jan 12, 2021 11:25 ISTModified On: Jan 12, 2021 11:25 IST
First batch of COVID-19 vaccine

The first batch of Serum Institute of India’s Coronavirus vaccine ‘Covishield’ left Pune in the early morning of January 12, 2021, four days ahead of the nationwide vaccination drive set to start on January 16.

Three temperature-controlled trucks, amid tight security, rolled out of the Serum Institute of India with their cargo shortly before 5 am. The trucks from the institute carried 478 boxes of vaccines where each box weighs 32 kg. A puja was also performed before the vehicles left the facility for the Pune airport. The vaccines are being dispatched to 13 cities.

The Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri also informed that the vaccines will be flown from Pune city in nine commercial flights.

Key Highlights:

•  SpiceJet, Air India, Indigo will be operating 9 flights from Pune with 56.5 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati, Shillong, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar, Vijayawada, Lucknow, Patna, Bengaluru, and Chandigarh.

•  The Covid vaccines are also flown out in the cargo flights to Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Guwahati, and Kolkata.

•  The SpiceJet which was carrying the Covid vaccines left for the national capital around 8 am while the consignment for Mumbai left by the road.

COVID-19 vaccine in India:

Two vaccines- Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN and Covishield which have been developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University- had received emergency authorisation in India earlier in January 2021. They both are two-dose vaccines which need to be administered at a 28-day gap.

The central government has ordered 1.01 crore doses of Covishield. It plans on buying a total of 5.60 crore doses by April 2021 at a cost of Rs. 200.

A Central Enterprise, the Hindustan Lifecare Limited, is the agency that will be buying the vaccines from both Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India.

Vaccination drive in India:

The world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination drive is scheduled to start in India from January 16, 2021. The government also informed that 30 crore people- starting with frontline and healthcare workers- will be vaccinated in the first phase.

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