80% of Covishield vaccines to be flown out from Pune; transportation to start by Monday or Tuesday

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Shikha Chaurasia

Pune, January 11, 2021: The first phase of COVID-19 vaccination is less than a week away now. The transportation of Serum Institute’s Covishield vaccine is majorly going to take place from the Pune airport. About 80 per cent of Covishield vaccines are to be flown out from Pune.

According to officials the transportation of the vaccines is likely to start by Monday or Tuesday. Mumbai-based Kool –Ex Cold Chain Limited is the firm which will be responsible for the transportation of the vaccines nationally. The company’s co-founder Rahul Agarwal told the Times of India that the vaccines will be moved mainly by air first.

He added further, “We are waiting for the go-ahead from the government for the movement of the vaccines. As of now, we are on stand-by but it is expected that the movement will likely begin by Monday or Tuesday. About 80% of transportation of the vaccines will be by air. We are also expecting some road movement hence, we have more than 300 trucks ready.”

According to Agarwal, the movement of vaccines must start by Tuesday otherwise the possibility of the vaccine consignments reaching the centres on time will decrease.

A senior police official from the Pune police said that the state government has directed them to provide security cover to the trucks carrying the vaccines. “The movement is likely to happen by Tuesday but it can begin earlier too”, he added.

Cargo handlers at the Pune airport have received guidelines on how to handle the loading of the vaccine consignments. It has been planned that the vaccines will be loaded after the luggage so that while offloading, they will be the first to be taken out.

All airlines have been instructed to form special teams for the loading and offloading of vaccines. As per sources, about 20 million doses will be rolled out during the first phase of vaccine inoculation.