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Covid vaccine flights take off: Domestic carriers start flying Covishield doses to cities across the country

India’s first Covid-19 vaccine consignments had been shipped from Pune early on Tuesday — with 56.5 lakh doses anticipated to be transported throughout the day by Air India, SpiceJet, GoAir, and IndiGo.

The first flight carrying Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine was SpiceJet’s SG8937 that left for Delhi carrying 34 packing containers weighing 1,088 kg — simply 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 mentioned.

Many of those consignments can be shipped on repeatedly scheduled passenger flights, and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had final week issued pointers for transport of Covid-19 vaccine packed in dry ice on flights.

For some locations like Vijaywada, Shillong, and so forth. to the place passenger flights will not be scheduled, the vaccine can 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,” mentioned Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet.

The maiden consignment of the vaccines in three vans was rolled out of the Serum Institute of India facility round 5 am Tuesday, which was then loaded on the SpiceJet flight.

Covid vaccine flights take off: Domestic carriers start flying Covishield doses to cities across the country Serum vaccine arriving in Delhi (Source: SpiceJet)

In a tweet, Air India mentioned: “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”.

On Monday, Centre signed a contract with SII for the supply of 11 million doses of Covishield. The country will start its mass inoculation programme in opposition to Covid-19 on January 16. Around 3 crore healthcare and frontline employees can be the first in line to obtain the shot.

Covid vaccine flights take off: Domestic carriers start flying Covishield doses to cities across the country Besides Delhi, the vaccine can be flown to 12 different cities across the country, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri mentioned

At least 70 lakh healthcare employees can be administered the vaccine over the subsequent three months, NITI Aayog Member-Health and chair of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC), Dr V Okay Paul, mentioned.

SII and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech obtained the Drug Controller General of India’s approval on January 3 for “restricted” use of their Covid-19 vaccines in an “emergency” state of affairs. Following the approvals, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla had introduced that SII would supply the authorities a “special” worth of Rs 200 per dose for the first 100 million doses of Covishield.

Asked whether or not the worth nonetheless remained Rs 200, Dr Cyrus Poonawalla informed The Indian Express on Monday, “Yes”. SII officers mentioned this was the fee at which the authorities would purchase the vaccines from SII.



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