Centre places the first order of Covid-19 vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
As soon as the Serum Institute of India, or SII as it is called, received an order from the Central Government of 11 million doses of Covishield vaccine on Monday at the cost of INR 200 per vial, they started the process of transporting it. This makes the AstraZeneca vaccine of the Oxford University, and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, becomes the first vaccine to be used for a mass immunization program in India.
V K Paul, who is one of the members of the NITI Aayog, stated that for the initial phase, both Covaxin and Covishield vaccines would be used in India. To begin the vaccine transportation, six refrigerated trucks reached SII on Monday evening, with strong police security.
Kool-ex Cold Chain Ltd. has is already given the responsibility and the contract of transporting the vaccine doses from SII’s manufacturing plant situated in Pune to 48 government halts in the first go.
According to some sources, two out of the total of six trucks are expected to leave for Gujarat and another one is expected to go to Karnal. Apart from these, it was also expected that some shipments would be made out of Pune airport by the first flights today morning.
Policemen were deployed and they were present in the SII premises for the entire day on Monday. The six trucks were then escorted into the premises of SII with four police vans, each with four police officers. Out of the six trucks, one left the SII compound to reach the city’s Naidu Hospital on Monday night.
The vaccine doses will be given first only to the three crore frontline and healthcare workers without any charges from January 16, 2021. The vaccine will then be available for all the others from the month of June at the price of INR 1,000 per vial.