Thursday, January 14, 2021

Seven boxes of vaccines arrive in two flights, four stay in Delhi

New Delhi: On Wednesday, it was the turn of Covaxin to arrive in Delhi. The Bharat Biotech vaccine for Covid-19 reached Delhi in two flights a day after the other vaccine to be used in the mass inoculation programme starting on January 16 reached the capital.

While Air India flight AI559 landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport at 9.15am with three boxes of the vaccine, all of which were forwarded to Karnal in Haryana - the second north India hub for storing the Covid vaccines - Vistara flight UK860 landed at 10.40am carrying four boxes, or 20,000 doses, of Covaxin destined for Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital (RGSSH) in the city.

Later in the day, a SpiceJet flight brought 34 boxes of Covishield vaccine, which were transferred to Agra, Meerut and Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh.

The Air India aircraft took off from Hyderabad at 6.50am, carrying the precious 80.5-kg load. "We are always more than eager to serve the nation and we have been doing it from the onset of the Covid pandemic with our evacuation flights to Wuhan and the Vande Bharat Mission flights. We will ferry any vaccine as ordained by the government of India," said an Air India spokesperson.

The consignment that arrived on the Air India flight was sent to Kurukshetra following the same protocol as on Tuesday with special temperature-controlled vans transporting the cargo. The Vistara consignment was sent directly to RGSSH, while 34 boxes were sent to Uttar Pradesh on a SpiceJet craft.

The Vistara flight's four boxes of vaccine weighed 90.5kg. "Vistara is actively participating in transportation of Covid vaccines," said an airline spokesperson. "Earlier today, we carried multiple shipments of the vaccines on various routes, including Mumbai-Varanasi and Hyderabad-Delhi. We support the authorities in their efforts to check the pandemic and facilitate normal life."

On Tuesday, RGSSH received 2.64 lakh doses of Covishield from Serum Institute of India, Pune, in 26,400 vials. The hospital will not receive any more consignment before Saturday, when the vaccination drive begins in India with the inoculation of health workers. The transfer of vials from the hospital to different smaller storage points for vaccination centres is expected to start from Thursday.

14/01/21 Times of India

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