The first consignment of Covishield vaccines left for Delhi early Tuesday morning, four days prior to the launch of a national vaccination drive.
The first consignment of vaccines in three trucks was rolled out of the Serum Institute of India about five o’clock in the morning. It was loaded later on the SpiceJet flight that left for Delhi at 8 a.m.
Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, Ajay Singh said: SpiceJet has shipped India’s first consignment of Covid vaccine today. The first consignment of ‘Covishield’ consisting of 34 boxes and weighing 1088 kg was transported from Pune to Delhi.
“Ready get set go! Stand by India! The vaccine to kill the disease is being loaded into the aircraft for distribution all over the country now,” Pune airport tweeted.
— PuneAirport (@aaipunairport) January 12, 2021
Three temperature-controlled trucks rolled out of the gates of the Serum Institute shortly before 5 a.m. and left for Pune airport, where the vaccines will be flown across India.
The trucks carried 478 vaccine boxes, each box weighing 32 kg, as confirmed to PTI by a source involved in the vaccine transport arrangements.
In addition to Delhi, vaccines will be delivered to 12 other sites across the country on seven more flights by 10 a.m. on Tuesday, the source said.
Today, Air India, SpiceJet, and IndiGo Airlines will operate 9 flights from Pune with 56.5 lakh doses to Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Bengaluru, Lucknow & Chandigarh, says Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
Today, Air India, SpiceJet and IndiGo Airlines will operate 9 flights from Pune with 56.5 lakh doses to Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Bengaluru, Lucknow & Chandigarh, says Union Civil Aviation Min Hardeep S Puri https://t.co/9QhSUWF1WC
— ANI (@ANI) January 12, 2021
Flights include two cargo flights, said the source. The first cargo flight will be Hyderabad, Vijayawada, and Bhubaneswar, and the second cargo flight will be Kolkata and Guwahati, he said.
Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel tweeted on Monday that his state will receive the first consignment of coronavirus vaccine at Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Airport on Tuesday at 10.45 a.m.
On Monday, the Central Government put firm orders in advanced commitments for more than six crore doses of Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech vaccines to inoculate three crore healthcare staff and frontline workers in the first step of the national vaccination drive beginning on 16 January.
On Monday, interacting with state chief ministers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlined the enormity of what he called the world’s largest vaccination exercise, saying that over 30 crore citizens in India will get the jabs in the next few months against just 2.5 crore people vaccinated so far in about a month in over 50 countries.