Odisha receives 1st consignment of COVID-19 vaccine

Bhubaneswar: The much-awaited first consignment of COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covishield’ by Serum Institute of India (SII) has reached Odisha.

The consignment of Covishield consisting of 34 boxes weighing over 1200 kg arrived at Biju Patnaik International Airport here on a SpiceJet cargo flight from Pune via New Delhi at 3.40 pm.

The vaccines will be kept in a cold room at the airport and later be sent to state vaccine centre. Insulated vaccine vans from every district will be stationed at the centre to carry the vaccines to respective district vaccine stores. The vaccines will further be sent to 1222 cold chain points for storage.

Expressing pleasure, Health Department Additional Chief Secretary Pradipta Mohapatra said, “the day has finally arrived. We are fully ready for the vaccination drive starting January 16. Our officials will go to the airport to transport the vaccines to the state vaccine centre. I have written to all Collectors asking them to send insulated vans  to the centre to collect their share of the vaccine,”

The state has been allotted with 4.08 lakh doses of Covishield and 20,000 doses of Covaxin. In second phase of  the vaccination, Home Department officials including police, para-military and  Disaster Management personnel and Revenue Department officials will be vaccinated, the official added.

Odisha Health Director and Vaccine In-charge Dr Bijay Panigrahi said an increased number of 3.33 lakh beneficiaries will be administered the vaccine in the first phase. We aim at vaccinating 16,000 people on first day of the vaccination drive.

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