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SII orders 11 million doses of vaccines, trucks ready for transport | India News


PUNE: The Covishield vaccine transportation process began on Monday after the Serum Institute of India (SII) received the Center’s initial purchase order for 11 million doses at Rs 200 per dose.
This makes the University of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being manufactured for IBS, the first Covid-19 vaccine to be used for India’s mass immunization program.
NITI member Aayog (health) VK Paul told a TV channel that both Covishield and Covaxin would be used in the initial phase.
On Monday night, six refrigerated trucks arrived at the SII to begin transporting the Covishield vaccine amid tight police security. Trucks containing vials of the vaccine were scheduled to leave the institute early Tuesday for shipment across the country.
Doses of the vaccine will be administered to priority groups, including Rs 3 crore healthcare and frontline workers, free of charge from January 16. The vaccine, which is likely to be available on the market in June, is expected to cost Rs 1,000 per dose at that time.
A cold chain logistics service provider, Kool-Ex Cold Chain Ltd, has been assigned responsibility for moving the vaccine from SII’s manufacturing plant in Pune to 48 government depots in the first stage.
On Monday, police vans escorted the trucks to the SII facilities, where police officers were deployed throughout the day. Police have said that four vans, each with four policemen, will escort the trucks from the SII to the airport.
Sources said that of the six trucks, two were expected to go to Gujarat and one to Karnal. Some shipments are expected for the first flights from Pune airport on Tuesday morning.
Pune Deputy Police Commissioner Namrata Patil said one of the six vans carrying the vaccines would leave the SII facility on Monday night for the city’s Naidu Hospital. The hospital is a center dedicated to the treatment of infectious diseases.
Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta said: “The police will also provide bandobast to SII trucks that bring the vaccine to different parts of the state and across state lines, if the trucks go to other states.”

Times of India