Almost ten months after the outbreak of COVID-19 in Telangana, the State government on Tuesday received the first consignment of 3.64 lakh doses of COVID vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII).
The Covishield containers arrived at the RGIA in a freighter aircraft and were transported from there to the State vaccine storage centre in the city in a deep freezer van.
Police personnel escorted the van to the storage centre . As soon as the van arrived, media personnel huddled around it. Amid police security, the cartons with the vials were carried into the vaccine centre. The State’s Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivasa Rao supervised the cartons movement.
Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vials were expected to reach the city by Tuesday evening or Wednesday. When asked, Dr Srinivasa said the two vaccines will be used across the State. The vaccines will be given in two doses with gap of four weeks. The senior official stressed that first and second dose will be of the same company, and not interchangeable.
The COVID vaccination programme will be launched on January 16 (Saturday ). On the first day, around 13,900 healthcare workers would be inoculated at 139 vaccine sites. From Monday, the programme will be rolled out in around. 1,213 centres. The vaccines will be given on four days : Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.
Altogether, there are around 3.10 lakh healthcare workers who would be inoculated in the first phase, followed by front line workers from other departments such as municipal staff. Thereafter, people above 50 years, and those below 50 with co-morbidities such as diabetes will be inoculated.
The Covishield doses will be transported from the State Vaccine Centre to Regional Vaccine Centres in all districts , and from there to vaccine sites. The vials have to be stored at a temperature of 2-8 degree .