07 Jan 2021: COVID-19 vaccine transport to start soon; government readies plan
The central government has prepared a detailed draft for the transport of vaccines across India ahead of a nationwide roll-out.
The development comes a day before the government is planning to conduct a nationwide dry run, where all processes of vaccine delivery except vaccine administering will be tested.
On Sunday, the government had granted emergency approval to two vaccines: Covishield and COVAXIN.
Details: 'Vaccine transport likely to begin today or tomorrow'
Government sources told the news agency ANI on Thursday, "For vaccine transportation across the country, a common draft has been made. It will shortly be shared with stakeholders. The transportation of vaccines is likely to begin by today or tomorrow."
Pune will be the central hub for vaccine distribution, the sources indicated, adding that passenger aircraft will also be permitted to transport doses.
Details: Delhi, Karnal will be mini-hubs in North
"Since the Pune airport is under the Indian Air Force, they will also be a part of it," the sources said. In the North, Delhi and Karnal will be mini-hubs, they said.
Kolkata and Guwahati will be mini-hubs for the East and Northeast, while Chennai and Hyderabad will be designation points for the South.
41 airports have been identified for vaccine delivery, they added.
Dry run: Vaccine dry run across 33 states/UTs tomorrow
A nationwide dry run for vaccine delivery will be conducted on January 8 (Friday).
Around 1.7 lakh vaccinators and three lakh vaccination team members have been trained.
The exercise includes beneficiary verification, cold chain & logistics management, bio-medical waste management, AEFI management, and reporting on Co-WIN software.
The first nationwide dry run was held on January 2 at 286 session sites across 125 districts.
Recent news: Centre holds meeting with state/UT administrations
Ahead of the second dry run, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan held a meeting with Health Ministers of all states and union territories on Thursday.
Vardhan asked authorities to be prepared and stop misinformation campaigns ahead of the nationwide dry run.
He also said that improvements have been made based on feedback from the first dry run.
Vaccines: India grants emergency approval to two vaccines
Covishield has been developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), while COVAXIN has been developed indigenously by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech.
Notably, COVAXIN has been granted EUA "as an abundant precaution, in clinical trial mode."
Outbreak: How bad is the outbreak in India?
Across India, 1,03,95,278 COVID-19 cases have been reported, out of which, 2,28,083 are active infections, while 1,00,16,859 patients have recovered, according to data shared by the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday morning.
The death toll stands at 1,50,336.
20,346 fresh infections and 222 new deaths were reported over a 24-hour period.
India is the world's second worst-hit country after the United States.