The Telangana government on Tuesday received the first consignment of 3.64 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine Covishield from the Pune-based Serum Institute.
The vaccine arrived in a freighter aircraft of SpiceJet.
“The state government has received 3.64 lakh crore doses of Serum Institutes Covishield vaccine from the Centre.
The vaccine will be sent to 139 centres, where the vaccination drive will begin from January 16,” Telangana Public health Department Director G Srinivas Rao said.
From January 18, vaccination in the rest of the centres will be launched, the official added.
Arrangements have been made to administer the vaccine at over 1400 counters located in 1213 centres all over the state and it will cover 3.10 lakh frontline workers, he said.
The Covishield containers landed at the Airport at around 11.30 AM and were transported from there to the state vaccine storage centre at Koti here.
Security at the airport’s cargo centre was beefed up and the vaccine containers were sent to the Governments facility with police escort, Shamshabad DCP Prakash Reddy said.
Security was also beefed up at the vaccine storage centre.
A senior government official shifted the consignment to freezers after performing ‘puja’.
The state government has already created cold chain storage facilities to keep about three crore doses across the state, including 1.5 crore at the state capital.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday asked officials to make all preparations for COVID-19 vaccination from January 16, as part of nationwide inoculation drive against the killer virus.
He had also said that the state government would administer Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, identified by the Centre as effective vaccines, in the state.
Meanwhile,Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar,in a tele-conference with all district Collectors to review the preparations, advised them to appoint special officers for each “launch site” (centres where vaccination is scheduled to be launched), an official release said.
They would be responsible for overseeing arrangements at these sites in their districts as per operational guidelines, including measures to deal with any cases of “adverse effect” following immunization, it said.
Kumar also told them to keep reserve vaccinators at each site.
He suggested that they schedule a smaller number of beneficiaries on the first day and ramp-up the numbers thereafter, taking into account the experience gained.
“Considering the importance of the programme, the Chief Secretary advised the Collectors to seek participation of public representatives at all levels,” the release said.