VIJAYAWADA: Nearly 4.77 lakh doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine called Covishield arrived at the city out of a total allotment of 4.99 lakh doses, on Tuesday. The vaccine is being manufactured at the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune.
Krishna district collector Md. Imtiaz and Child Health and Immunisation joint director U. Sreehari received the consignment from SII. Pune. The doses were shifted to the State Vaccine Storage Facility located at Gannavaram amidst tight security provided by police.
The vaccine will remain stored there at a temperature between 2 degrees and 8 degrees Celsius before being transported to various places in the state.
Collector Imtiaz said the Gannavaram storage facility can preserve up to 35 lakh doses of vaccine. Of the first consignment received, about 3,000 frontline healthcare workers of Krishna district will be administered the vaccine at 30 sites spread over the district on Saturday, January 16.
Earlier, Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das held a video conference with district collectors, SPs and municipal commissioners and reviewed arrangements for administering of the 4.77 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine at 332 sites throughout Andhra Pradesh.
State health authorities disclosed that they are also expecting a consignment of about 20,000 doses of Covaxin developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, which has scheduled despatch of its first vaccine consignment to several places across the country on Tuesday itself.
State health authorities maintain that the Centre has sanctioned 4.99 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses including 4.77 lakh doses of Covishield and 20,000 of doses of Covaxin, manufactured by Bharat Biotech, to AP. With the first consignment arriving on Tuesday, officials are expecting the remaining vials on Wednesday. Bharat Biotech will be dispatching its first consignment to several places from the Hyderabad airport.
Meanwhile, health authorities are making arrangements to dispatch vaccine from the state storage facility at Gannavaram to regional centres at Kurnool, Kadapa, Guntur and Visakhapatnam. From there they will be sent to district vaccine centres and to 1,659 vaccine centres set up all over the state.
A senior health official said, “We are awaiting guidelines from the centre on dispatch of Covid-19 vaccine to various sites in Andhra Pradesh for administration to identified healthcare workers. These guidelines are expected by Tuesday night. Until their dispatch, the 4.77 lakh doses of Covishield will remain at the State Vaccine Storage Facility in Gannavaram,” the official added.