The first batches of Covishield, the vaccine developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII), left Pune to be taken to different parts of the country ahead of the coronavirus vaccination mission. At approximately 10.40 am, the first batch of the vaccine entered Delhi International Airport.
Temperature-controlled facility, ranging from -20 degrees Celsius to +25 degrees Celsius, at our two Cargo terminals can efficiently & safely handle Covid-19 vaccines. Both terminals can handle around 5.7 mn vials in a day: DIAL CEO on arrival of Covid vaccine consignment https://t.co/KpQIJPM3Xr
— ANI (@ANI) January 12, 2021
Three trucks carrying the Covishield vaccine reached Pune International Airport during the early hours of Tuesday from the Serum Institute of India’s facility in the city and are being transported to various locations in the region.
“I am happy to share that SpiceJet has carried India’s first consignment of COVID vaccine today. The first consignment of Covishield consisting of 34 boxes and weighing 1,088 kg was carried from Pune to Delhi on SpiceJet flight 8937,” said Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet.
On Monday, the Government issued firm orders for over 6 Crore doses of Covid vaccine from SII and Bharat Biotech to inoculate three Crore Healthcare and Frontline Staff in the first phase of the vaccination campaign scheduled to commence on 16 January, which will cost a total of 1,300 Crore.
According to Sandip Bhosale, MD of SB Logistics, a company that manages the air transport of the vaccine from Pune airport, a total of eight flights will transport the vaccine from Pune International Airport to 13 different locations on Tuesday. The first flight to Delhi Airport is scheduled to arrive in the national capital on Tuesday morning.
“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 Namrata Patil, DCP (Zone 5).
— ANI (@ANI) January 11, 2021
On Monday morning, Pune airport tweeted that “vaccine to kill the disease is being loaded onto the aircraft for distribution all over the country now”
“Today marks the beginning of a long and decisive phase in India’s fight against the pandemic and SpiceJet is proud to assist in the biggest vaccination drive in the history of mankind,” said CMD SpiceJet, Ajay Singh.
Government to purchase 4.5 crore doses
The shipment was left in three temperature-controlled trucks and pooja before the vehicles left the plant. According to sources cited by the PTI news agency, the Government has committed to purchase 4.5 crores more doses of Covishied from the Serum Institute of India at Rs 200 per dose plus GST by April.
Last week, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) released two vaccines, Covishield of the Serum Institute of India and COVAXIN of Bharat Biotech. Questions were posed on the clearances issued to COVAXIN without phase-3 trials. However, the government, as well as Bharat Biotech, have maintained that the vaccine is 100% effective.