In Pics: Covishield dispatched from SII, states await arrival of first consignment of corona vaccine
Pune, Jan 12: A decisive phase in India's fight against coronavirus began in the wee hours on Tuesday as the first consignment of Covishield vaccines left Serum Institute of India for Pune airport, four days ahead of the nationwide inoculation drive launch.
#WATCH | Three trucks carrying Covishield vaccine reached Pune airport from Serum Institute of India's facility in the city, earlier this morning.— ANI (@ANI) January 12, 2021
From the airport, the vaccine doses will be shipped to different locations in the country. The vaccination will start on January 16. pic.twitter.com/v3jk4WUyyq
3 trucks carrying Covishield vaccine leave Pune's Serum Institute
Three temperature-controlled trucks rolled out of the Serum Institute's gates shortly before 5 am and left for Pune airport, from where the vaccines will be flown across India.
The trucks carried 478 boxes of the vaccines, each box weighing 32 kg, a source closely involved in the transport arrangements told PTI.
The trucks left the Serum Institute of India premises at Manjari and reached the airport, located 15 km from the facility.
Vaccines to be dispatched to 13 locations
From the airport, the vaccines will be dispatched to 13 locations across the country by 10 am, the source said.
A ''puja'' was performed before the vehicles left the facility.
The locations where these Covishield vaccines will be flown from Pune include Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Karnal, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guwahati, Lucknow, Chandigarh and Bhubaneswar.
The consignment for Mumbai will leave by road. Trucks belonging to Kool-ex Cold Chain Ltd are being used to ferry the vaccine stocks from Serum Institute.
One consignment to be shipped by an Air India cargo flight
Among the first batch, one consignment is scheduled to be shipped by an Air India cargo flight to Ahmedabad.
On Monday, Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel tweeted that his state will receive the first consignment of coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday at 10.45 am at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Airport in Ahmedabad.
Six crore doses of vaccines from Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech
The Central government on Monday placed firm orders in advanced commitments for over six crore doses of vaccines from Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech for inoculating three crore healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase of the nationwide vaccination drive beginning January 16.
30 crore citizens to get anti-Covid jabs in next few months: PM Modi
Interacting with state chief ministers on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi underscored the enormity of what he called as the world's biggest vaccination exercise, saying over 30 crore citizens will get the jabs in the next few months in India against only 2.5 crore people vaccinated so far in over 50 countries in around a month.
Covishield to cost Rs 200 a dose
The government has placed an order for Oxford-AstraZeneca's vaccine against COVID-19 manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) as the nationwide immunisation drive is set to rollout from January 16. The vaccine will cost Rs 200 a dose in the country. SII's chief executive Adar Poonawalla had said in December last year that the Covishield vaccine would be priced around Rs 438-585 ($6-8) per dose for the private market in India.
On safety concerns regarding the vaccines, Drugs Controller General of India, VG Somani said, "We will never approve anything if there's slightest of safety concern. Vaccines are 110 % safe. Some side effects like mild fever, pain & allergy are common for every vaccine."