1st batch of 2.64 lakh Covishield doses reaches Delhi's central storage facility

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New Delhi, Jan 12 (PTI) The first batch of Covishield vaccine containing 2.64 lakh doses reached Delhi's central storage facility at Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital (RGSSH) on Tuesday amid high security, officials said.

An official at the hospital said 22 boxes, each containing 1,200 vials of the Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine, were delivered to the hospital Tuesday afternoon.

Each vial of 5 milliliters has 10 doses, he said.

A SpiceJet flight carrying the vials landed at the Delhi airport around 10 am on Tuesday, four days ahead of the launch of a nationwide drive against the coronavirus. Thereafter, the Delhi Police formed a 'green corridor' to safely transport the vaccine to the hospital, the Delhi government's largest COVID-19 facility.

'The truck carrying the vaccine arrived at the hospital around 3:10 pm,' a source said.

A special cold storage facility has been created at RGSSH to store the vials. Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGI Airport) Rajeev Ranjan said adequate security arrangements have been made at the storage site, and PCR vans will also cover them in their patrolling plans.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahadra) Amit Sharma said, 'We have deployed the personnel at the storage area of the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital.' Officials said three-layer security – CCTV cameras, Delhi Police and hospital's own security staff – is in place around the storage facility at RGSSH.

From RGSSH, the vaccine will be transported in a special vehicle under heavy security to the vaccination centres.

The Delhi government has identified 89 sites in the national capital, including 40 government and 49 private hospitals, for the first phase of the immunisation drive meant for about three lakh healthcare workers.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Sadarjung Hospital, LNJP Hospital, GTB Hospital, Apollo Hospitals and Max Hospital will be among the vaccination centres here.

The vaccination roll-out is expected to be kicked off from the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital On January 16 with a simple ceremony in the presence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendar Jain, sources said.

India's drugs regulator has approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.

Covishield vaccine doses will be initially shipped to 60 consignee points from where they would be distributed to various vaccination centres across India, official sources said. PTI GVS/AMP/NIT TIR AAR AAR