First batch of COVID-19 vaccines reach Northeast shores



The first batch of the COVID-19 vaccines reached the Northeast by a special flight, landing at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (LGBI) on Tuesday evening.

Airports Authority of India (AAI) sources informed that 20 boxes of the vaccine, each containing 12,000 doses were brought here by the Kolkata-Guwahati SpiceJet flight (SG 7715) which landed at 4:58pm.

“Of the 20 boxes, 17 are for Assam while three will be taken to Meghalaya,” an AAI source here said.

The Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune had early Tuesday morning dispatched the first consignment of the Covishield vaccines for distribution across different locations in the country.

Reportedly, eight flights were scheduled to transport the Covishield vaccines from Pune International Airport to 13 different locations.

The central government had placed a purchase order with the Pune-based institute for 11 million doses of the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, Covidshield, at a cost of ₹ 210 per dose.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 11 announced that the state governments would not have to pay for vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers.

Covishield has been developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Pune based company.

The Assam Health department is all set to start the vaccination process with 1.5 lakh frontline healthcare, ASHA and Anganwadi workers as the first beneficiaries.

The state, for its part, is leaving no stone unturned to prevent any hiccups during the process.

Already, the dry run for COVID-19 vaccination is underway across all districts of Assam.

(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh)