Karnataka receives first consignment of COVID-19 vaccines

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(Eds: Updating with fresh quotes from Minister) Bengaluru, Jan 12 (PTI) The first consignment of about 6.48 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrived here on Tuesday and the Karnataka government said it was committed to conducting the vaccination drive in a transparent way.

The flight carrying the Covishield vaccine landed at the Kempegowda international airport here around 11:45 AM.

The consignment was transported from the airport to the state vaccine store in the city in a refrigerated truck.

'6.48 lakh doses packed in 54 boxes have been received in good condition and stored in a set temperature here,' Health Minister K Sudhakar was quoted as saying by his office in a release after he inspected the vaccines.

On Wednesday, an additional 1.40 lakh doses of vaccine will be received in Belagavi, he added.

The COVID-19 vaccination drive will start on January 16, and the state government has already said that about 16 lakh frontline workers will be administered the shots in the first phase at 235 sites.

The minister said guidelines would soon be issued in this regard and added that more people would be vaccinated after four months as manufacturing capacity would increase by then.

'Staff have been trained for safe handling and transportation of vaccines. There is no doubt about the efficiency of officials of the health department.

Everything is being carried out as per the rules. Two lakh staff have been trained to administer the vaccine,' he was quoted as saying in a release.

Speaking to reporters earlier in the day, Sudhakar said the state government would conduct the vaccination drive- whether it is storage, supply or administering as per guidelines- in a transparent manner.

Noting that the Drugs Controller General of India has given approval to Covishield and the Centre has purchased 1.1 crore doses, he claimed there was no other country that has fixed the price of the vaccine at such low rates.

'It has been procured at Rs 210 per dose, including GST from the Serum institute, Pune. The total cost is Rs 231 crore,' he said.

The central government will be vaccinating about three crore people in the country in the first phase free of cost.

Noting that each vial contains 5 ml and it will be 0.5 ml per dose, Sudhakar said 10 people can be administered with each vial 'Twenty eight days after taking the first dose, a second dose should be taken. The vaccine will help in developing immunogenicity. It is completely safe and there is no need for anyone to worry or fear,' he said.

'If there are any side effects, it will be recorded...

details of every person who takes a vaccine will be recorded.

After getting the vaccine shot, the person will have to be in the observation room.

If there is any side effect, there will be facilities to immediately treat them,' the minister said adding that the vaccine had proved to be safe during clinical trials. PTI KSU ROH APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR