Friday, January 08, 2021

IAF, airlines to be roped in for COVID-19 vaccine transport across India

New Delhi: Commercial airlines as well as the Indian Air Force are being roped in to transport the vaccine vials as the government prepares to start giving the first jabs to immunize the people against Covid-19 next week, said sources.

The transportation of vaccines to different parts of the country could begin Thursday evening or Friday morning.

Officials in the Union health ministry, in consultation with the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration on Covid-19, aviation ministry and cargo operators on Thursday prepared a detailed outline for vaccine transportation.

The first vaccine vials, said officials in the health ministry, are set to be from Pune where the Serum Institute of India has manufactured the ‘Covidshield’ developed by Oxford University-AstraZeneca. 

The Centre has planned 41 mini-hubs across the country for the distribution of vaccines, which are mostly in state capitals where they will be stored before finally being dispatched to districts.  

Delhi and Karnal will be made mini-hubs for northern India while for the eastern part of the country, Kolkata and Guwahati will be the mini-hub for distribution. Guwahati will also be a nodal point for the Northeast.

Chennai and Hyderabad will be the designated points for south India. Union health minister Harsh Vardhan, meanwhile, reviewed the preparedness for Covid dummy run on Friday in a virtual meeting with health ministers from the states.

08/01/21 New Indian Express

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