Hyderabad: The first consignment of Covid vaccine shots reached Telangana on Tuesday, marking the start of a new chapter in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Starting its journey from Serum Institute’s Pune facility in the early hours, the first batch of Covishield doses reached the Health Department’s vaccine storage facility at Koti here by afternoon.
The department received 3.64 lakh vials of the vaccine, which will be rolled out from January 16. State-run Gandhi Hospital in Secunderabad and Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Narsingi are the two session sites chosen among many others from across the country, from where the nationwide vaccination drive will be launched online by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.
On January 16, the vaccine will be administered at 139 vaccine sites across the 33 districts in the State. The Public Health Department has identified 99 government healthcare facilities and 40 private hospitals for the purpose.
Due to the historic nature of the event, the arrival of the first batch of shots at the Shamshabad airport from Pune by a Spicejet flight and its transportation to the vaccine storage facility at Koti became a highly anticipated affair for people.
Director of Public Health (DPH) Dr G Srinivasa Rao received the first vials of the vaccine at the storage facility. “While there are challenges in making the vaccine available to everyone in the State, at least a start has been made. The extensive vaccination programme should bring the Covid pandemic to an end,” he said.
All arrangements were made to ensure smooth conduct of the drive. Apart from vaccinators, senior doctors will also be present at the vaccine administration sites to track Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) among beneficiaries, Health Minister Eatala Rajender said.
Senior health officials said the vaccine shots would start getting transported in special cold chain vehicles to districts from Wednesday. In all, about 10,000 field-level healthcare workers received training on administering vaccine, and the Health Department can stock at least 3 crore vaccine vials.
About 3 lakh healthcare workers from private and government sector are expected to get vaccinated in the first phase of the Covid vaccination drive in the State.
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