Finally, the wait is over!!
India has entered the decisive phase of the battle against the coronavirus as the first consignment of the Covishield vaccine left Pune’s Serum Institute in the wee hours on Tuesday, four days ahead of the nationwide inoculation drive launch.
Three temperature-controlled trucks carrying 478 boxes of the vaccines, with each box weighing 32 kg, left for Pune airport, from where a special cargo flight will distribute the vaccines across India.
“The first consignment of the vaccine has been dispatched from the facility of Serum Institute of India here. We have made elaborate security arrangements,” said Pune Zone 5 DCP, Namrata Patil.
From the Pune airport, the vaccines will be shipped to 13 locations, including Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Karnal, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, and Chandigarh.
In the coming days, five other containers with Covishield will leave to three states, including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana.
Earlier on Monday, The HLL Lifecare Limited, a PSU, placed a purchase order, on behalf of the Indian Government, for over 1.1 crore vaccine doses from the SII and committed to procuring another 4.5 crore by April 2021.
As the SII fixed the price for each dose at INR 200, these orders will cost the Indian Government INR 1,176 crore.
Around three crore healthcare and frontline workers will be inoculated in the first phase of the vaccination drive scheduled to begin on January 16.
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