Today, three trucks carrying the first consignment of Covishield vaccines left Pune’s Serum Institute of India to Pune International Airport. After that, Covishield vaccines would be transported to various cities across India.
The trucks left the SII premises at 4:55 AM amid tight security. One of the trucks was marked Kool-Ex Cold Chain Ltd, which is an SII transportation partner and the other two trucks had Serum Institute of India marking. Deputy Commissioner of Police Namrata Patil and SII employees clapped and cheered as the trucks left the building.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Namrata Patil said that Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officials will provide security for the trucks up to the entrance of the airport.
As the trucks reached Pune International Airport, the unloading operations started at the cargo terminal at around 5:30 AM. The vials of the Covishield vaccines are kept in cardboard boxes covered in a plastic sheet. The Covishield vaccine boxes will be transported through private airlines to different cities in India.
Currently, 14 flights will carry the 456 boxes of vaccine vials weighing 14.592 tonnes to Chennai, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Vijaywada, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Bengaluru, Patna, and Lucknow.
At 8:05 AM , SpiceJet carried the first batch of Covishield vaccines from Pune to Delhi which consists of 34 boxes weighing 1,088 kg.
The Centre government will start the COVID-19 vaccination drive from 16th January and the priorities will be given to doctors, healthcare workers, frontline workers.
Covishield vaccine, manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India, received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use on 3rd January.