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Serum vaccine shipment delayed another 48 hours | India News


PUNE: Mass air transport of Covishield vaccine doses from here has been delayed for another 48 hours. Now it is likely to happen only on Monday. The vaccine maker Serum Institute of India has dismissed rumors that the transport delay is due to “price negotiations” with the Union government.
Transportation was expected to begin Thursday and then Friday.
Pune Airport Director Kuldeep Singh said: “There was also no movement today (Friday). As stated above, we are fully prepared and ready from our end. We can easily handle (the transport) and currently handle more than 150 tons of cargo in a single day. ”
A representative for the airline said on condition of anonymity that “the transport was postponed until Monday. We have no further information on this at this time. ”
Meanwhile, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said: “There is absolutely no price negotiation. The launch will happen in a few days. You have to follow the due processes before transporting the vaccine doses, ”he told TOI.
Poonawalla has announced that Covishield will be offered to the government at a special price of Rs 200 per dose for the first 100 million doses. It will be available on the market for Rs 1,000 a dose.
IBS has 50 million doses ready at its Manjari plant in Pune. It has been waiting for the government to make a formal request for doses before it can undertake the mass transport exercise. Poonwalla said his company produces between 50 and 60 million doses of the vaccine each month.
The SII has a fleet of refrigerated trucks to transport the vaccine in cold packages from its plant in Manjari to the Pune airport and also to closer destinations, including Mumbai.
At the Pune airport, authorities are considering options such as switching from domestic flights to cargo flights with the permission of the DGCA and opening a special space for the rapid transport of the vaccine, in addition to transporting the vaccine by road, experts said. airport officials.
Officials said all options can be considered, including creating a special space for destinations that do not have scheduled flights from Pune and opening the runway for night flights. Currently, Pune Airport does not operate flights after 8 pm due to carpet renovation work on the runway.
IndiGo, in an official statement, said: “In line with our business model and cost leadership strategy, we are pleased to evaluate the shipment of Covid-19 vaccines on board our aircraft and we promise to contribute in the best possible way.”

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