Pune: The central hub for COVID19 vaccine distribution
The first COVID-19 vaccine rollout will take place on January 13.Image source: AFP

Pune: The central hub for COVID19 vaccine distribution

The first dummy drive was held on January 2 where only five districts had taken place.

The much-anticipated inoculation programme against Covid-19 in the country is expected to begin by January 12, government sources told IANS.

"In all likelihood, the Covid immunisation drive is expected to start early next week. Considering the preparations, the roll-out may start on January 11 or latest by January 12," a senior government official inducted in the vaccine distribution programme said.

"The dispatch is expected to start late on Thursday evening or early in the day on Friday," the officials said. As per the information received, the vaccines from their manufacturing units will be transported to the central hub in Pune. From there, they will be moved to regional hubs situated at different locations across the country.

The sources also informed that the government has started preparing the freight carrying the vaccine vials for transportation to different hubs located across the country. The agencies involved in the vaccine roll-out programme will start dispatching the vaccine vials from Thursday onwards, they added.

Karnal in Haryana and Delhi will serve as regional hubs for the storage and roll-out of the vaccines in the northern part of the country. Chennai and Hyderabad will serve as regional hubs for the distribution of vaccines in southern India. For the eastern part, Kolkata is designated as the distribution point, while the distribution in the western region of the country will be covered by the central hub only.

The vaccines - Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and Covishield by Serum Institute of India - were approved for emergency use authorisation on January 3. The second nationwide dry run for Covid vaccine is set to be conducted across 33 states and Union Territories on Friday. The mock drill will be conducted in all the districts of the country, except for Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, since the former has already conducted a dry run on January 5 while the latter conducted it on Thursday.

The first dummy drive was held on January 2 where only five districts had taken place.Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan met the health ministers of states and Union Territories on Thursday and guided them on conducting the dry run.

The government has trained around 1.7 lakh vaccinators and 3 lakh vaccination team members for the process to be followed at the vaccination centres during the inoculation drive, which would include beneficiary verification, vaccination, cold chain and logistics management, bio-medical waste management, Adverse Effect Following Immunisation (AEFI) management and reporting on the Co-WIN software.

(With inputs from IANS)

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