New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Ahead of the world's largest coronavirus vaccine inoculation drive on January 16, a SpiceJet flight carrying the vaccines arrived in the national capital around from Pune International Airport, hours after three trucks with the maiden consignment of the 'COVISHIELD' vaccine rolled out of the Serum Institute of India (SII) facility in the city.

"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 in the morning.

Amid tight security, three trucks carrying 478 boxes of the very first consignment of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine left for Pune airport to be flown to 13 locations across the country today by 10 am. A total of eight flights- two cargo flights and other regular commercial flights will carry the vaccines to a different location in the country.

The locations include Delhi, Karnal, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubhaneshwar, Kolkata and Guwahati. The first Cargo flight with the vaccines will drop off the consignment at Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Bhubhaneshwar while the second cargo flight will go to Kolkata and Guwahati. The consignment for Mumbai will leave by road.

Pune-based logistic firm Kool-ex Cold Chain tasked with ferrying the vaccine stocks via tech-enabled trucks laced with temperature control feature ranging from -25 degrees to +25 degrees Celsius.

Serum Institute of India (SII) has received a purchase order from the Government of India for 11 million doses of Covishield vaccine, which would be available at the price of Rs 200 per dose, SII officials had said on Monday

Interacting with state chief ministers on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi underscored the enormity of what he called as the world's biggest vaccination exercise, saying over 30 crore citizens will get the jabs in the next few months in India against only 2.5 crore people vaccinated so far in over 50 countries in around a month.

Around 3 crore healthcare workers and frontline workers will be vaccinated in the first phase of vaccination, he added. In the second phase, those above 50 years and those under 50 years with co-morbid conditions will be vaccinated, he further said.

Two vaccines -- the Covishield developed by the Oxford University and pharma major AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin -- received emergency use approval from the Drug Controller of India earlier this month. Both are two-dose vaccines, which will have to be administered at a 28-day gap.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan