SII Covid vaccination era kicks off to save India

Pune, Jan 12, 2021, IANS

The much-anticipated Covid vaccination era finally kicked off when three trucks laden with the doses of the vaccine, rolled out of the Serum Institute of India (SII) plant for the airport, to save the nation, before dawn on Tuesday.

The trucks came out of the SII premises under a massive security cordon led by Deputy Commissioner of Police Namrata Patil and a few staffers of the SII who cheered and applauded as the consignment left the heavily guarded premises.

While two trucks belonged to SII, another belonged to its collaborator in the venture, Koolex, and the Pune Police would escort it right up to the airport, Patil later told mediapersons.

After reaching the Pune Airport, the security was taken over by the CISF and the unloading operations started around 5.30 a.m. before the boxes would be assigned and loaded onto flights to different parts of India.

Official sources said that as per the current plans, the vaccines shall be flown in two flights each to Chandigarh, Chennai, Kolkata and one flight each to Patna, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Gandhinagar, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar and Guwahati during the day.

After landing at their respective destinations, the local and state authorities shall start their distribution to vaccinate the frontline workers and other priority groups as decided by the government.

The consignment, in around 450 boxes weighing nearly 14.50 tonnes carrying the precious cargo of vials, were packed in white boxes covered with plastic for maximum safety and temperature protection.

Over the next few days, more consignments are expected to be delivered by SII to the government for what could be the world's biggest vaccination drive against the Covid-19.