Visakhapatnam

First batch of 46,720 Covishield vaccines reaches city

The first batch of 46,720 Covishield vaccines from Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) reached the city in a refrigerated vehicle and was stored at the District Immunology Department here on Wednesday.

The vaccines will be stored in the specially built freezers, which will maintain a temperature from 2° to 8° degree Celsius.

The vaccination programme will begin on January 16 for the frontline health workers and 32 session or vaccination sites have been readied in the district.

Speaking to The Hindu, District Collector V. Vinay Chand said that the session sites will be scaled up gradually and by January 20 there will be about 225 sites, spread across the district, which includes 91 PHCs, 12 CHCs, two area hospitals, two district hospitals, eight teaching hospitals and about 70 to 80 private hospitals.

“As we move from one phase to another, the sites will be scaled up and the infrastructure further strengthened. As of now each session site is capable of handling about 100 persons per day and once all the sites are operational, the daily count could be close to 22,000,” he said.

But the challenging part will the second and third phase, which are likely to begin in the mid of February.

In the second phase, vaccines will be administered to about one lakh employees from various frontline departments such as GVMC, Revenue, Police and Panchyat Raj.

In the third phase, the vaccination programme will be open for all above 50 years of age and those with comorbidities, which can tune up to over 10 lakhs in the district. “Once we get through the first phase, which will be a learning experience for us, we will be adding and adjusting things to our requirement for the next phases and even the vaccines will be replenished periodically. The freezers at the Immunology Department is equipped to store close to 17 lakh vaccines at given time,” said Mr. Vinay Chand. He also said that adequate number of refrigerated vehicles have been roped in by the district administration and the vaccines will be transported from the central storage to the respective area or district hospitals and from where they will be further moved in refrigerated boxes to the session sites.

The vaccination drive will be launched around 11 a.m. on January 16 by the Prime Minister in a two-way video conference. The details of the healthcare workers have already been fed into the Co-WIN app and frozen and it will be soon opened for rest of the people, said Mr. Vinay Chand.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 3:19:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/first-batch-of-46720-covishield-vaccines-reaches-city/article33571560.ece

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