Gujarat:First batch of COVID vaccine reaches Ahmedabad airport

·2-min read

Ahmedabad, Jan 12 (PTI) Consignments of Covishield vaccines have reached Ahmedabad airport in Gujarat on Tuesday, hours after they were dispatched from the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) in Maharashtra.

Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who visited the airport along with Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja around noon, described the arrival of the vacines as the 'much-awaited moment'.

'We have received 2.76 lakhs doses of the coronavirus vaccine today. People have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of this vaccine and it has finally arrived,' Patel told reporters at the airport.

He said these doses are meant for Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and Bhavnagar sectors.

Additionally, 93,500 doses of the vaccine will reach Surat from Pune by road on Wednesday, while 94,5000 doses will reach Vadodara and 77,000 doses will reach Rajkot, the deputy CM said.

Officials said the vaccines will be transported to various destinations with elaborate security arrangements.

Security will be beefed up at places where the vaccines will be stored, they added.

On early Tuesday, the first consignment of Covishield vaccines rolled out of the Serum Institute of India facility in Pune for various locations, setting in process a massive pan-India inoculation drive against COVID-19 that begins on January 16.

Patel said the Gujarat government will administer the vaccine to 4.33 lakhs healthcare workers in the first phase.

'In the second phase, the state government is planning to vaccinate over 6 lakhs frontline workers comprising policemen, and workers of revenue and sanitation departments,' he said.

Patel said 11 lakh healthcare and frontline workers have already been identified by the state government for inoculation.

'More doses of vaccine will arrive as the vaccination programme starts,' he said.

Patel reiterated that no public representative, including MPs and MLAs, of the ruling BJP will receive the vaccine during the first phase, as the shots are meant for high risk groups.

He said cold chains have been set up for storing these vaccines, which will be administered at over 20,000 booths.