The first shipment of 35,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine for Meghalaya arrived today.
The vaccine was brought from Pune by a special plane of SpiceJet and arrived at Guwahati airport today afternoon.
“Today, Air India, SpiceJet and IndiGo Airlines will operate nine flights from Pune with 56.5 lakh doses to Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Bengaluru, Lucknow and Chandigarh,” Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in a tweet.
In an encouraging development, the vaccine that was sent to Meghalaya is Covishield which is produced by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII).
Recently, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved two vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin – for emergency use to fight Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
However, questions were raised on the clearances given to Covaxin as the vaccine is yet to complete Phase-3 trials. The Centre, as well as Bharat Biotech, have, however, maintained that the vaccine is ‘100 per cent safe’.
The Covid-19 vaccination in Meghalaya will start on January 16 covering healthcare workers and frontliners.
In the first phase of Covid vaccination drive, around 16,000 health workers from East Khasi Hills and West Garo Hills will receive two doses of the vaccine over 28 days.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma Tweeted ahead of the important vaccination drive and said arrangements are on for January 16.
“In today’s meeting with DCs and Health Department discussed the COVID vaccine preparatory arrangements in Meghalaya for phase I of the vaccination drive that would commence nationwide from January 16,” Sangma tweeted.
The Meghalaya government had on January 2 conducted a dry run for Covid-19 vaccination at 33 health facilities across 11 districts in the State.
More than 600 healthcare workers took part in the dry run across the State.
The dry run was part of a nationwide initiative to test the preparedness of the authorities before launching the actual vaccination programme.
The activity was to test the linkages between planning and implementation and identify challenges.