New Delhi: The primary dispatch of Covishield vaccines reached Delhi from Pune today after a nationwide vaccine launch against coronavirus. A SpiceJet flight carrying the vaccines landed at the Delhi airport around 10 am. While it started at 8 am, three hours after three trucks with the major consignment of the vaccines rolled out of the Serum Institute of India (SII) office, 15 km from the Pune airport.
The first flight carrying Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine was SpiceJet’s SG8937 that left for Delhi carrying 34 boxes weighing 1,088 kg — just after 8 am on Tuesday. Shortly after the SpiceJet flight departed, GoAir’s flight G8-904 left for Chennai from Pune. “Today, Air India, SpiceJet, GoAir & IndiGo will operate nine flights from Pune with 56.5 lakh doses to Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Bengaluru, Lucknow & Chandigarh,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said four airlines will operate nine flights to transport 56.5 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Pune to 13 cities across the country on Tuesday. Vaccine movement has started, he said on Twitter, adding that the first two flights operated by “SpiceJet and GoAir from Pune to Delhi and Chennai have taken off”.
Numerous of these consignments will be dispatched on routinely planned traveler flights, and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had final week issued rules for the transport of Covid-19 vaccine packed in dry ice on flights. For a few goals like Vijaywada, Shillong, etc. to where passenger flights are not planned, the vaccine will be transported on freighter flights.
“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 1088 kg was carried from Pune to Delhi on SpiceJet flight 8937. We will be carrying multiple vaccine consignments to different Indian cities including Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Patna, and Vijayawada through the day today,” said Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet.
On Monday, the Centre signed a contract with SII for the supply of 11 million measurements of Covishield. The nation will begin its mass vaccination program against Covid-19 on January 16. Around 3 crore healthcare and frontline workers will be the first in line to get the shot. At slightest 70 lakh healthcare workers will be managed the vaccine over the following three months, NITI Aayog Member-Health and chair of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC), Dr V K Paul, said.
SII and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech gotten the Sedate Controller Common of India’s endorsement on January 3 for “restricted” utilization of their Covid-19 immunizations in an “emergency” circumstance. Taking after the endorsements, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla had declared that SII would offer the government a “special” price of Rs 200 per dose for the primary 100 million doses of Covishield.
The maiden consignment of the vaccines in three trucks was rolled out of the Serum Institute of India facility around 5 am Tuesday, which was then loaded on the SpiceJet flight. In a tweet, Air India said: “Air India is all set to play a pivotal role in vaccination mission, carrying the first consignment of 2,76,000 vaccine doses weighing 700 kgs approx from Pune to Ahmedabad today”.