New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Paving the way to launch world's biggest immunisation drive against COVID-19, the central government has said that the transportation of coronavirus vaccines will begin from Thursday night or Friday, adding that passenger aircraft have been allowed to transport them.

The Centre further informed that 41 destinations across the country have been finalised for the delivery of vaccines, adding that Pune will be the central hub from where vaccine distribution will take place.

"For northern India, Delhi and Karnal will be made mini hubs. For the eastern region, Kolkata will be the hub, it will also be a nodal point for the northeast. Chennai and Hyderabad to be designated points for southern India," news agency ANI quoted government sources as saying.

The central government had last week approved Bharat Biotech's 'Covaxin' and Oxford-AstraZeneca's 'Covishield' for emergency use authorisation in India. Following the approval, the Union Health Ministry informed that it is ready to roll out the vaccine within 10 days from the date of emergency use authorisation.

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"The facility including the number of vaccines stored and temperature trackers is monitored digitally. We have this facility for over a decade in the country," Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said that some priority groups have been decided for vaccination by the Centre as advised by the experts' group formed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He further said that at the meeting with Health Ministers of all states and union territories (UTs) that "we have to ensure that no misinformation campaign on the COVID-19 vaccine is successful".

"In the first phase, the health care workers either of the public sector or private sector, frontline workers like central police, armed forces, home guards civil defence organisations, municipal workers will be administered the vaccine. In the second phase, people over 50 years will be prioritised for the vaccine," he said.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma