A truck carrying the first consignment of Covid-19 vaccines leaves from Delhi Airport for the Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital, in New Delhi. (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO).
A truck carrying the first consignment of Covid-19 vaccines leaves from Delhi Airport for the Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital, in New Delhi. (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO).

India’s vaccine ferrying drive begins, 9 flights to 13 cities take off on Day 1

  • The Centre had begun preparations for the transportation of the vaccines in December, the aviation ministry had instructed airport operators, ground handling service providers and airlines to put in place standard operating procedures for the transportation of Covid-19 vaccines.
By Anisha Dutta | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 12, 2021 10:38 PM IST

India on Tuesday began the mammoth task of ferrying the first lot of Covid-19 vaccine Covishield doses, developed in Pune’s Serum Institute of India, with 9 flights carrying as many as 5.6 million doses to 13 cities ahead of the vaccination drive scheduled from January 16.

The flights from Pune were scheduled to ferry the vaccines to Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Bengaluru, Lucknow and Chandigarh on day one of the transportation drive, Union aviation minister Hardeep Puri announced on Tuesday.

Private carriers including SpiceJet, GoAir, Indigo and national carrier Air India were deployed for the transportation of the vaccines.

The first flight operated by Spicejet departed from Pune airport with 1088 kg of the vaccine consignment packed in 34 boxes and reached Delhi airport at 9:54 am. The second flight operated by GoAir ferried 70,800 vials of Covid-19 vaccines to Chennai.

“Some flights post 8 pm will operate from Mumbai airport too due to construction at Pune airport, cargo trucks will ferry the vaccine consignment from Pune to Mumbai. The schedule of flights ferrying consignment of vaccines from Hyderabad will be prepared once the government finalises and places an order with Bharat Biotech,” a senior official said.

The government had on Monday placed orders in advanced commitments for over six crore doses of vaccines from SII and Bharat Biotech for inoculating three crore healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase.

“Civil aviation sector launches yet another momentous mission. Vaccine movement starts. First two flights operated by SpiceJet and GoAir from Pune to Delhi and Chennai have taken off,” Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Puri tweeted on Tuesday morning.

“Good news just flew in! The first batch of Covid-19 vaccines reached Delhi Airport today. Our cargo terminal efficiently handled it through temperature-controlled technology, ranging from -20 Deg C to +25 Deg C,” Delhi airport tweeted.

The Centre will bear the entire cost of vaccinating 30 million healthcare and frontline workers — employees across government departments, the police and civic bodies — at the start of the world’s biggest immunization drive against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday.

The government on Friday put final touches to its Covid-19 vaccine roll-out plan as it held the biggest-yet drill to perfect immunization logistics and last-mile delivery, issued guidelines for safe air delivery of vaccines across the country. The guidelines directed airlines and airport authorities to ensure the vaccines are packaged in dry ice and refrigerated material in a bid to maintain low temperatures.

The guidelines issued by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) state all scheduled operators who have been currently authorized to carry dangerous goods may carry Covid-19 vaccines packed in dry ice, meeting the regulatory requirements.

“Though there may be different refrigerant options, use of dry ice (Carbon Dioxide Solid) is the most commonly used, affordable and readily available refrigerant material available in the country for transportation of perishables by air. Dry ice continually sublimates (Dry ice that is solid, transforms into Carbon Dioxide gas (CO2) at temperatures higher than -78°C (-108.4O F) under normal atmospheric pressure. At reduced pressures, the sublimation rate of dry ice will increase while all other factors being the same,” it noted.

The Centre had begun preparations for the transportation of the vaccines in December, the aviation ministry had instructed airport operators, including state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI), ground handling service providers and airlines to put in place standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the transportation of Covid-19 vaccines. The aviation ministry held multiple rounds of meetings with airline executives on transport logistics for the vaccine, HT had reported on December 7.

Airlines too had begun preparations for transportation; and started partnering with pharmaceutical transportation companies offering cold storage. SpiceJet had announced the signing of multiple memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with an aggressive push for cold storage transportation ahead of the drive.

“I am happy to share that SpiceJet has carried India’s first consignment of Covid-19 vaccine today. The first consignment of Covishield consisting of 34 boxes and weighing 1088 kg was carried from Pune to Delhi on SpiceJet flight 8937,” Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet said.

“We will be carrying multiple vaccine consignments to different Indian cities including Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Patna and Vijayawada through the day today. SpiceJet is fully committed and prepared to transport the Covid vaccine both within and outside India. Today marks the beginning of a long and decisive phase in India’s fight against the pandemic and SpiceJet is proud to assist in the biggest vaccination drive in the history of mankind,” he added.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addresses during Veterans day event, at the Indian Air Force headquarters training command in Bengaluru on Thursday. (ANI Photo)
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addresses during Veterans day event, at the Indian Air Force headquarters training command in Bengaluru on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

Army has boosted country's morale during border standoff with China: Rajnath

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 03:37 PM IST
Singh said this while addressing a gathering here during the 'bhoomipujan' and foundation stone laying ceremony of a new Command Hospital.
Close
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot.(HT File Photo)
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot.(HT File Photo)

Everyone was eagerly waiting for this day: Gehlot on Covid-19 vaccine roll-out

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 03:36 PM IST
Two vaccines—Covidshield, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, and Covaxin, developed indigenously by Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech—are being administered in the inoculation programme.
Close
Partho Dasgupta, the former chief executive officer of BARC India, was arrested in the alleged TRP rigging scam by crime branch of the Mumbai Police on December 24 last year.(Bhushan Koyande/ HT Photo)
Partho Dasgupta, the former chief executive officer of BARC India, was arrested in the alleged TRP rigging scam by crime branch of the Mumbai Police on December 24 last year.(Bhushan Koyande/ HT Photo)

TRP scam: former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta shifted to JJ Hospital

By Manish Pathak, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 03:25 PM IST
Kaushtubh Kurlekar, the jail superintendent, confirmed Dasgupta's hospitalisation.
Close
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan shows a dose of Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech at AIIMS in New Delhi on Saturday as the first phase of vaccination begins across the country. (ANI Photo)
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan shows a dose of Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech at AIIMS in New Delhi on Saturday as the first phase of vaccination begins across the country. (ANI Photo)

Health minister deflects Congress' criticism over Covid-19 vaccine with photos

Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 03:12 PM IST
Manish Tewari had also said that the vaccines were being allowed to be used without the mandatory Phase 3 trials after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive.
Close
A health worker administers a Covid-19 vaccine to a health worker at the Dr. R N Cooper Municipal General Hospital, in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. India launched one of the world�s largest coronavirus vaccination drives on Saturday, setting in motion a complex deployment plan aimed at stemming the wide spread of infections across a nation of more than 1.3 billion people. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg(Bloomberg)
A health worker administers a Covid-19 vaccine to a health worker at the Dr. R N Cooper Municipal General Hospital, in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. India launched one of the world�s largest coronavirus vaccination drives on Saturday, setting in motion a complex deployment plan aimed at stemming the wide spread of infections across a nation of more than 1.3 billion people. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg(Bloomberg)

1,300 to get Covid-19 vaccination on the first day

By Ramesh Babu, Thiruvananthapuram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:55 PM IST
Kerala has received 43,50,00 vials of the vaccine for the first phase of the vaccination.
Close
Madhura Patil, a health worker, gestures as she receives COVID-19 vaccine in the presence of Uddhav Thackeray, standing in white dress, Chief Minister of Maharashtra State in Mumbai, India, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. India started inoculating health workers Saturday in what is likely the world's largest COVID-19 vaccination campaign, joining the ranks of wealthier nations where the effort is already well underway. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)(AP)
Madhura Patil, a health worker, gestures as she receives COVID-19 vaccine in the presence of Uddhav Thackeray, standing in white dress, Chief Minister of Maharashtra State in Mumbai, India, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. India started inoculating health workers Saturday in what is likely the world's largest COVID-19 vaccination campaign, joining the ranks of wealthier nations where the effort is already well underway. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)(AP)

Launch of Covid-19 vaccine a revolutionary step: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray

PTI, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:37 PM IST
Appealing the people to not let their guard down even though vaccines are being made available, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said that "wearing a face mask is the best vaccine available".
Close
Defence minister Rajnath Singh said the country's doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and other frontline workers who fought against the virus are now going to get a protective shield. (ANI File Photo )
Defence minister Rajnath Singh said the country's doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and other frontline workers who fought against the virus are now going to get a protective shield. (ANI File Photo )

Rajnath Singh lauds scientists, PM Modi for Covid-19 vaccination drive

ANI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:29 PM IST
"In the next phase, the vaccination campaign will reach 300 million people. It will certainly be a huge achievement," Rajnath Singh said.
Close
FILE PHOTO: Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Serum Institute of India poses for a picture at the Serum Institute of India, Pune, India, 30 November 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Serum Institute of India poses for a picture at the Serum Institute of India, Pune, India, 30 November 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo(REUTERS)

Serum Institute’s Adar Poonawalla takes Covishield vaccine, congratulates PM

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Pune
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:27 PM IST
  • The SII also plans to export Covishield doses to Brazil in the coming days.
Close
Congress leader Manish Tewari(Sonu Mehta/ HT archive)
Congress leader Manish Tewari(Sonu Mehta/ HT archive)

‘If vaccine is reliable, why no govt functionary took the shot’: Manish Tewari

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 03:23 PM IST
"Many eminent doctors have raised questions with regard to the efficacy and safety of Covaxin with the government saying that people will not be able to choose as to which vaccine they would like to take. This goes against the entire doctrine of informed consent," Tewari said.
Close
Around 19,000 frontline workers have registered to be vaccinated.(AP file photo)
Around 19,000 frontline workers have registered to be vaccinated.(AP file photo)

Vaccination drive kicks off in Goa, 700 recipients on the first day

By Gerard de Souza, Panaji
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:18 PM IST
The vaccination drive has been launched at seven centres in Goa with 700 health workers scheduled to be vaccinated on the first day.
Close
Drones shower flowers during the Army Day Parade, at Cariappa Parade Ground in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo)
Drones shower flowers during the Army Day Parade, at Cariappa Parade Ground in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo)

Drone operations feature for first time at Army Day parade

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:14 PM IST
Army Chief Gen M M Naravane conferred gallantry awards and unit citations at the event, which was also attended by Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat.
Close
A G Ahangar, director of Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences receives the first shot of Covid-19 vaccine.(HT Photo)
A G Ahangar, director of Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences receives the first shot of Covid-19 vaccine.(HT Photo)

Catering supervisor of Kashmir hospital among 1st to get Covid-19 vaccine

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Srinagar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:13 PM IST
  • The vaccination drive has started in every district of the Kashmir valley.
Close
A sanitation worker was the first to receive Covid 19 vaccine in Bhubaneswar(HT Photo)
A sanitation worker was the first to receive Covid 19 vaccine in Bhubaneswar(HT Photo)

Covid vaccination starts in Odisha, class IV hospital employee gets first shot

By Debabrata Mohanty | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Bhubaneswar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 01:56 PM IST
  • Odisha has received 4.08 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine and 20,000 doses of Covaxin vaccine in the first lot
Close
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan held up a dose of COVAXIN developed by Bharat Biotech to the media.(HT Photo/ Amal KS)
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan held up a dose of COVAXIN developed by Bharat Biotech to the media.(HT Photo/ Amal KS)

Covid-19 vaccine will work as 'sanjeevani': Union health minister Harsh Vardhan

Written by Prashasti Singh, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 01:59 PM IST
The minister was speaking after witnessing the administration of the first coronavirus shot to a sanitation worker at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
Close
A medic administers the first dose of Covishield vaccine to a health worker in the presence of state CM BS Yediyurappa.(PTI)
A medic administers the first dose of Covishield vaccine to a health worker in the presence of state CM BS Yediyurappa.(PTI)

First phase Covid-19 vaccination drive begins at 243 sites in Karnataka

PTI, Bengaluru
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 01:54 PM IST
According to the Health Department, Covishield will be administered in 237 centres and Covaxin in six centres.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP