December 9, 2023

Covid-19: Stage set for mega inoculation drive as vaccine consignments reach several cities

Pune’s Serum Institute of India and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech received the Drug Controller General of India’s approval on January 3 for “restricted” use of their Covid-19 vaccines in an “emergency” situation.

With less than a week left before India starts its nationwide inoculation drive, batches of coronavirus vaccine are being shipped to multiple parts across the country. As many as 3 crore healthcare and frontline workers will be the first in line to receive the shot. Pune’s Serum Institute of India and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech received the Drug Controller General of India’s approval on January 3 for “restricted” use of their Covid-19 vaccines in an “emergency” situation.

After Serum Institute’s maiden consignment of Covishield vaccines took off for Delhi from Pune on Tuesday, Bharat Biotech also dispatched the first batches of Covaxin, its two-dose Covid-19 vaccine, to 11 cities across India. The Hyderabad firm said it had successfully shipped the first batch of the vaccines to Ganavaram, Guwahati, Patna, Delhi, Kurukshetra, Bangalore, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Chennai, and Lucknow.

As of Tuesday, 54.72 lakh doses of the two vaccines cleared for use by the national regulator had reached vaccine stores across the country, the government said. With limited doses of Covid-19 vaccines available initially, the Centre said states will not have the option to choose which vaccine to administer to its priority groups.

Kerala gets first Covishield vaccine consignment

The first consignment of Covidshield vaccine from Pune-based Serum Institute of India arrived at the Cochin international airport on Wednesday morning. Special refrigerated vans were arranged to transport the vaccine safely to respective centres. Another flight is expected to reach Thiruvananthapuram international airport this afternoon. National Health Mission sources said of the 4.33 lakh doses of the vaccine, 1,100 would be sent to Mahe, which is an enclave of Puducherry and lies between Kozhikode and Kannur districts.

Kerala is battling a massive surge of new coronavirus cases. With 5,000 new cases, the state once again reported the highest number of infections in the country.

Second COVID vaccine consignment arrives in Odisha

Odisha received the second consignment of COVID vaccine on Wednesday as a special plane carrying 20,000 vials of indigenously developed ‘Covaxin’ arrived at the Biju Patnaik International Airport. The state had received its first consignment of COVID vaccine on Tuesday when 40,822 vials of ‘Covishield’, had arrived on a special flight.

Covaxin will be administered to people in the state capital and Covishield in the districts, news agency PTI reported. Vaccines have already reached Cuttack, Puri and Nayagarh districts and special vehicles with police escorts have been lined up for transportation of the vials to all the 162 vaccination centres.

23,500 doses of Covishield vaccine reach Goa

Goa also received 23,500 doses of Covishield vaccine via a flight from Mumbai. Goa has geared up for the immunisation programme set to begin from January 16. Around 18,000 health workers in the state will be covered during the initial phase, another health official said. The state government has identified eight hospitals, including three private medical facilities, where these doses would be administered, an official earlier said.

Mumbai receives over 1.39 lakh Covishield vaccine doses

Mumbai received over 1.39 lakh doses of the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, this morning. This first batch of doses will be delivered across the city at designated vaccination centers for the inoculation drive set to begin on January 16, the BMC said in a statement. The civic body said it received 1,39,500 doses of the Covishield vaccine from the SII around 5.30 am.

Health department staffers of the BMC brought the vaccines from neighbouring Pune under the security of two police vehicles, it said. “The vaccine doses are being stored at a facility in F-South ward office situated in Parel,” it stated. The civic body has also created a centralised cold storage facility for vaccines in Kanjurmarg.

Maharashtra has so far received 9.83 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccines out of the total requirement of 17.5 lakh for inoculation in the first phase, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.

Tripura receives first batch of Covishield vaccines

As many as 56,500 doses of Covishield were flown into Agartala this morning. The doses were transferred to a special storage unit at National Health Mission (NHM) office at Gorkhabasti in Agartala.

Speaking to, State Immunization Officer Kallol Roy said the doses will be distributed to all districts today.

Thane division receives 1.03 lakh doses

Maharashtra’s Thane division received the first lot of 1.03 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine on Wednesday. The first lot of the vaccine arrived in the district in the early hours of the day and has been stored at the office of the deputy director of health, news agency PTI reported citing an official release.

A total of 1.03 lakh doses of the vaccine have been sent for Thane division, which includes Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Palghar districts.
Of these, 74,000 doses have been earmarked for Thane district, and will be further distributed to 29 vaccination centres, the release said.

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