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Govt puts in place plan to airlift Covid vaccine stocks from Pune

As part of the logistics plan for COVID-19 vaccines in the country , the government has allowed passenger aircraft to lift stocks so that it can be quickly transported to various states for distribution. The health secretary has already indicated that the government machinery is ready to roll out the first vaccine shots from January 13.

Pune will be the main hub from where vaccine distribution will take place as the Serum Institute of India, which is manufacturing the Oxford-Astra Zeneca vaccine known as Covishield in India, is located in the Maharashtra city. The Indian air force will also have a role to play as it controls the Pune airport.

The drug regulator has approved two vaccines – Covishield and indigenously-developed Covaxin – for restricted emergency use in the country.

Sources said, over 40 destinations nationwide have been identified for delivering the vaccine to states. Delhi and Karnal will be made the centres for northern India while Kolkata will be the centre for the eastern region. Chennai and Hyderabad will be the nodal points for southern India.

Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan sid on Thursday that the “feedback on the dry run of COVID vaccine in 4 states was reviewed. We have made improvements based on the feedback. Tomorrow, the dry run will be done in 33 states and union territories.”

“COVID-19 vaccines 'Covishield' and 'Covaxin' are on the verge of being available in the country. Our efforts are to ensure seamless last-mile delivery of the vaccine,” the vaccine. The minister informed that some priority groups have been decided for vaccination as advised by the experts' group formed by PM Narendra Modi.

The PM, meanwhile, today noted that the two 'Made in India' COVID-19 vaccines “have instilled a new confidence in the people of India”..