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Vaccine launch from Pune waits for government to order | India News


PUNE / NAGPUR / BENGALURU: Pune airport was ready Thursday night to begin facilitating mass air transport of Covid-19 vaccines, perhaps the largest exercise of its kind in the world, but its manufacturer here, Serum Institute of India (SII), was still waiting for an official order to be carried out by the Union government.
IBS manufactures the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
“We have been told this verbally several times, but the government authorities have not yet issued an official order. We have 50 million doses ready and we can deliver them the day we receive the order, ”said SII Executive Director Suresh Jadhav.

Vaccine launch from Pune waits for government to order | India News

He said that the company already has large orders from seven institutions around the world, but “it has not yet committed to them as the SII is committed to fulfilling the Indian request as a priority.” Another senior SII official also confirmed that the transport has been stopped for lack of an official order.
While the first shipment of vaccines was expected to ship from Pune airport on Thursday, spokesmen for two airlines and airport officials, who declined to be cited, said they were again told to be ready on Friday.
Pune Airport Director Kuldeep Singh confirmed that the airport did not receive any shipments of vaccines on Thursday. “We are all prepared and fully ready for the transportation process,” Singh said. He did not want to comment further.
Early Thursday, the Airports Authority of India said the Pune airport is “fully ready and able to contribute airport resources for the transportation of Covid-19 vaccine.” “Every day, Pune @aaipunairport operates 40 flights to 15 destinations across the country. The airport handles 150 tons of cargo daily. #AAI & @AAICLAS_in are fully ready and are able to contribute airport resources for the transportation of the # COVID19 vaccine in the national interest, “he said on his official Twitter account.

Airline officials, who requested anonymity, said YOU that the plan to start transport from Thursday was postponed on instructions from the civil aviation ministry, but the reasons were unclear. “It is possible that the transport process will begin on Friday, but we cannot confirm it. Shipments had to go to some destinations on Thursday and are now expected to arrive on Friday as long as plans do not change, ”said an airline official.
Towards night there was some information that a shipment had taken off on an Air India flight from Pune to Delhi in the afternoon. However, the airport manager said the information was not true.
Pune MP Girish Bapat, who is also chairman of the Pune airport advisory committee, said: “At the meeting a couple of days ago, the health ministry had asked the Pune airport about cargo handling capacity. . The airport said that while they could handle 500 tons of cargo per day, they were only handling 150 tons per day and that they were ready to handle cargo in the form of vaccine. The transport of the vaccine from the Pune airport will start at any time.
According to official statements from the health department, India plans to vaccinate 30 million healthcare and frontline workers for free in the first phase. The government has said it plans to vaccinate 300 million (30 crore) on a priority basis by July this year.
Jadhav made it clear that there is no ban on the export of Covishield. “There was news in a section of the media that the government has banned the export of the vaccine that makes IBS. We have already clarified that it was misinformation. IBS will produce the vaccine for everyone. India is our priority (sic). About 50% of our production is reserved for India, “said Jadhav.
Meanwhile, the health ministry has informed Bengal’s health department that Covishield’s first shipment from Pune will arrive in the state on Friday. Once the shipment arrives, the boxes, each containing 1,200 vials (vaccines for 12,000 people), will be loaded into freezer trucks and shipped to the state’s central medical warehouse in Bagbazar for shipment to inoculation centers.
As the Center prepares to ship the first batches of vaccines to the main distribution points, from where they will arrive at the designated sites in phases, the states are preparing to streamline the process with equipment and facilities. A chain of control rooms, one statewide and more than 700 in the districts, will begin operating soon. Hundreds of special task forces will be established and, when citizens receive the vaccines, there will be control rooms at the block level.
Pankaj Kumar Pandey, Commissioner for Family Health and Welfare (Karnataka), said: “The state will have 31 control rooms, including one in Bengaluru, and we have made preparations for them. According to the Union Ministry of Health, at the state level there will also be a steering committee and a working group.
The state control room will be enabled by the Officer of the Expanded State Immunization Program (SEPIO) with the participation of officials responsible for cold chains, communication and social mobilization, and international partners such as WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, etc. Each control room have a 24/7 helpline. Control rooms at the state level will participate in day-to-day planning, especially in mobilizing human and other resources such as transportation, intersectoral coordination, implementation, and monitoring of activities during preparation for vaccination and deployment. “They will supervise that in the planning of the vaccination sessions and the allocation of sites, the respective districts include the beneficiaries of the central government institutions. A clear chain of command, a communication system and an accountability framework must be established to ensure there are no delays in decision-making. The control rooms must operate 24 hours a day, with senior officials to make decisions and provide guidance to field operations, ”added the ministry.
District / urban control rooms should be established by the district immunization officer with the participation of various organizations, including cold chain officers. “Ensure the participation of Mahila Arogya Aamitis (MAS), civil society organizations, neighborhood welfare associations (RWA) and religious leaders, among others,” said the ministry, adding that in municipal areas an urban control room will be chaired by the medical officer.
Haryana expects the vaccination to begin on January 14. The department of health and family welfare has already identified 1,800 vaccination sites and more than 5,000 vaccinators to administer the vaccine. Karnataka is scheduled to receive 20 lakh of vaccinations on Tuesday next week from Pune. The landing points are Bengaluru and Belagavi; while the shipment to Belagavi will be transported by road, Bengaluru will receive its shipments by air.
Nine lakh vials will arrive at UP for the first phase. The vaccines will be transported to nine depot stations in Lucknow, Kanpur, Jhansi, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, etc., in refrigerated trucks.
Kerala’s health department has established 1,240 cold chain points in 14 districts to store vaccines. Three regional vaccine stores have been established: in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode.
Bihar has established a state vaccine house at Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH), Patna, for the storage and distribution of Covaxin. About three crore of syringes arrived in Patna a week ago; of these, 1.5 million rupees have been sent to different parts of the state.
The MP’s health department manifesto said Wednesday that vaccines can arrive in a day or two, but the government did not set a date on Thursday. “As far as I know, a date has not been decided,” said the minister of medical education, Vishwas Sarang.
A state vaccine storage center in Pune is Maharashtra’s main facility. From there, the vaccine will be distributed to nine divisional storage facilities in Mumbai, Thane, Pune (not the central facility), Nashik, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Latur, Akola and Nagpur. It will then travel up to 34 cold storage facilities at the district level and 27 at corporations.
(With input from Umesh Isalkar in Pune and state offices)

Times of India