First consignment of 54,900 vials of COVID-19 vaccines reaches Patna

PATNA: The first consignment of 54,900 vials of Covishield vaccines landed at the Jay Prakash Narayan International Airport here on Tuesday, four days ahead of the launch of a nationwide inoculation drive against COVID-19.

A SpiceJet flight (SG757) carrying the vaccines from the Serum Institute of India facility in Pune landed at the airport at 1:30 pm on Tuesday, a press release issued by the State Health Society (SHS) here said.

“Made in India 54,900 vials of Coronavirus vaccine Covishield reached Patna. People in Bihar will be vaccinated from January 16 (2021),” Bihars Health minister Mangal Pandey tweeted.

Each vial contains 10 doses of the vaccine, the SHS release said.

Besides the health minister, health departments Principal Secretary Pratyaya Amrit and SHS Executive Director Manoj Kumar were present at the airport here to receive the consignment.

The first batch of vaccines was taken in refrigerated vans to the State Vaccine Store at Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) here.

The central government had on January 9 announced the launch of COVID-19 vaccination drive that will begin from January 16 and priority will be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers.

The decision was taken after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the COVID-19 situation and vaccine preparedness.

As per the guidelines issued by the Central government, a person will be given two doses of the vaccine. The person will be administered the second dose after 28 days of the first shot.

It will be the responsibility of the district concerned to preserve and protect the vaccine for the next 28 days, the press release said.

Asserting that the vaccine is completely safe for everyone as it has been approved after following due process, it said that the government has planned to provide vaccines to everyone in a phased manner.

The availability of anaphylaxis kit (to treat an acute life-threatening allergic reaction) and AEFI (adverse event following immunisation) kit will be ensured at the vaccination session sites. Necessary training will also be imparted to the vaccinators.

The list of all the beneficiaries named for inoculation on January 16 will have to be displayed at the vaccination session spots two days in advance, it added.