Tamil Nadu receives first supply of COVID-19 vaccines

Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said the State was allotted 5,56,500 doses of COVID-19 vaccines — 5,36,500 doses of Covishield vaccine and 20,000 doses of Covaxin

Tamil Nadu received its first supply of COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday.

Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said the State was allotted 5,56,500 doses of COVID-19 vaccines — 5,36,500 doses of Covishield vaccine and 20,000 doses of Covaxin.

The vaccines arrived at the Chennai airport from Pune at about 10.30 a.m. The vaccines in the first phase will be stored at the State Vaccine Store on the premises of the Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services (DMS).

A GoAir flight carrying 59 boxes of Covishield vaccine left from Pune airport at 8.45 a.m. and landed in Chennai airport at 10.25 a.m. Each of these boxes contain 1,200 vials.

Airports Authority of India Cargo Logistics and Allied Services Company Limited has been assigned to monitor the shipment of vaccines from Pune to various cities in the country including Chennai. Officials of the Airports Authority of India said, this shipment weighed nearly 1.8 tonne and shortly after arrival, it was shifted to the vehicles arranged by the State government and left the airport.

A joint director of the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine was appointed to carry out work to transport the vaccines from the airport. From the DMS campus, the vaccines would be transported to 10 storage facilities from where it would be dispatched to districts. The district-wise cold chain points are ready. A total of 45 vehicles were ready to transport the vaccines to the health unit districts.

Work to dispatch the vaccines to the districts would begin later in the evening. The Health Secretary said that 2,000 vaccine centres were readied in the State. The vaccines would be administered as two doses. As per Central government guidelines, healthcare workers and frontline workers would first receive the vaccine.

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