Bhubaneswar: In probably the most significant milestone in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, the first consignment containing vials of Covishield vaccine dispatched from Serum Institute of India in Pune will reach Odisha on Tuesday.
According to the Health and Family Welfare department, the vaccine will be flown to Odisha in special SpiceJet flight and land at Biju Patnaik International Airport at around 4.20 pm today.
The first batch of Covishield vaccines left Pune-based Serum Institute of India in the wee hours today for delivery to all States and UTs, four days ahead of the nationwide launch of the inoculation drive.
Three temperature-controlled trucks rolled out of the Serum Institute gates shortly before 5 am and left for Pune airport, from where the vaccines are being flown across India.
The trucks carried 478 boxes of the vaccines, each box weighing 32 kg, a source involved in the vaccine transport arrangements said.
The trucks left the Serum Institute of India premises at Manjari and reached the airport, located 15 km from the facility.
The vaccines are being flown from Pune in eight commercial flights, including two cargo flights, the source said.
The first cargo flight will cover Hyderabad, Vijayawada, and Bhubaneswar and the second cargo flight will go to Kolkata and Guwahati.
The consignment for Mumbai will leave by road. Trucks belonging to Kool-ex Cold Chain Ltd are being used to ferry the vaccine stocks from Serum Institute.
(Edited By Suryakant Jena)