Serum Institute of India (SII) has dispatched over 90 percent of the COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, order by the Government of India.

Official sources confirmed to ANI that about 10.99 million doses have been already dispatched from SII facility in Pune and only around 90,000 doses are left to be dispatched.

Sources have also confirmed that the remaining volume of the vaccines will be dispatched either on Wednesday or Thursday from the SII facility.

The Government of India had placed an order for 11 million doses from the SII earlier at a price of Rs 200 per dose (only for first 11 million doses).

Dispatch of the vaccines started on Tuesday from the SII facility in Pune and was taken to almost 13 locations with nine different flights from Pune International Airport.

According to official sources involved in the transport of the vaccine, three trucks reached Mumbai Airport early on Wednesday morning. About 26 locations across the country will receive the vaccine from Mumbai airport through various flights today and six more locations will be delivered vaccines from Pune International airport.

The location that will receive vaccine shipments today include Raipur, Rajkot, Kurukshetra, Ranchi, Cochin, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram, Varanasi, Jaipur, Port Blair, Shimla, Srinagar, Leh, Imphal, Agartala and several others.

The Maharashtra government provided road transport for their part of delivery and their cold chain storage facility is based at a few kilometers from SII’s facility in Pune. Health department officials have confirmed that they have received 9.63 lakh doses and the same will be distributed to various districts and municipal corporations across the state.

Covishield and Covaxin, the two COVID-19 vaccines, which have received Emergency Use Authorisation (EAU), have been tested on thousands of people and side-effects are negligible, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, said on Tuesday and noted that the two “are safest of the vaccines”.

“Both the vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin) have been authorised for emergency use and there should be no doubt about their safety. They have been tested on thousands of people and side-effects are negligible. There is no risk of any significance,” Dr Paul said at a press conference here.

The first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive is scheduled to start from January 16 onwards.

Earlier, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said the central government is having close collaboration with states and Union Territories for vaccine roll-out. “All preparations are on track for vaccine roll-out from January 16,” he had said. (ANI)