Covid vaccine flights take off: Domestic carriers begin flying Covishield doses to cities throughout the nation3 min read
India’s first Covid-19 vaccine consignments have been shipped from Pune early on Tuesday — with 56.5 lakh doses anticipated to be transported through 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 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 stated.
Many of those consignments can be shipped on frequently scheduled passenger flights, and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had final week issued tips 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 are usually not scheduled, the vaccine can be transported on freighter flights.
Ready get set go!Stand by India!The vaccine to kill the illness is being loaded onto the aircrafts for distribution all around the nation now.@AAI_Official @aairedwr pic.twitter.com/5lY9i4Tjdk
— PuneAirport (@aaipunairport) January 12, 2021
“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,” stated Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet.
The maiden consignment of the vaccines in three vehicles was rolled out of the Serum Institute of India facility round 5 am Tuesday, which was then loaded on the SpiceJet flight.
Serum vaccine arriving in Delhi (Source: SpiceJet)
In a tweet, Air India stated: “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 availability of 11 million doses of Covishield. The nation will begin its mass inoculation programme in opposition to Covid-19 on January 16. Around 3 crore healthcare and frontline staff would be the first in line to obtain the shot.
Besides Delhi, the vaccine can be flown to 12 different cities throughout the nation, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri stated
At least 70 lakh healthcare staff 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 Ok Paul, stated.
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” scenario. Following the approvals, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla had introduced that SII would provide the federal government a “special” value of Rs 200 per dose for the primary 100 million doses of Covishield.
Asked whether or not the value nonetheless remained Rs 200, Dr Cyrus Poonawalla informed The Indian Express on Monday, “Yes”. SII officers stated this was the speed at which the federal government would purchase the vaccines from SII.