T’PURAM/KOCHI: Raising hopes of people in the fight against Covid-19, the first batch of Covishield vaccine arrived in the state on Wednesday. The state has started distributing the 4,33,500 doses of vaccine sent from the Serum Institute of India. The first consignment flights carrying 1.80 lakh and 1.19 lakh doses meant for Kochi and Kozhikode, respectively, arrived at Cochin International Airport around 10.45am. In the evening, the second consignment arrived at Thiruvananthapuram airport carrying 1.34 lakh doses. As many as 1,100 doses from Kozhikode’s share will be distributed in Mahe.
The consignments were first taken to the regional vaccine stores in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode. “The distribution of vaccine vials to the vaccine stores in all districts has started. The distribution to 133 centres will take place based on the requirement,” said Health Minister K K Shailaja. The vaccine will be administered at all these centres on Saturday.
As many as 12 vaccination centres have been set up in Ernakulam, while Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode have 11 each and remaining districts nine each. Arrangements have been made to vaccinate 100 persons in each centre on the launch day. Each centre will have a waiting area, vaccination room and observation room.Meanwhile, the number of people registered to take vaccine has increased to 3,68,866 — 1,73,253 from the government and 1,95,613 from the private sectors.
According to health officials in Ernakulam, 15 boxes, each with 12,000 doses, have been brought to the regional store. “The doses to the five districts including Palakkad, Thrissur, Idukki and Kottayam will be distributed on Thursday,” said a health official. During the first phase, Ernakulam district will vaccinate 73,000 health workers.
The storage for the vaccine vials in its required temperatures have been facilitated at four centres in the district including Ernakulam General Hospital. The health department vehicles transported the vials to the storage centres immediately after the consignment landed at the airport. Gearing up for vaccination in Ernakulam, 12 vaccination centres have been identified. “Directions have been given to the officials in charge at the centres to make necessary arrangements including setting up of vaccination booths,” said Dr S Sreedevi, District Surveillance Officer.