IMPHAL: The first consignment of 54,000 doses Covishield vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) reach Manipur in the early hours today.
On the other hand, 35,000 doses of Covishield have arrived at the State Vaccination Center, Shillong.
Manipur CM N. Biren Singh took to his Twitter handle and wrote, "This day marks a new dawn as we received the first consignment of 54,000 doses Covishield vaccine from SII, Pune. I join the nation in thanking Hon'ble PM Shri. @narendramodi and our brilliant scientists for delivering the Covid vaccine in record time. Vaccination starts on 16 Jan."
Meghalaya's CM Conrad Sangma wrote, "35,000 doses of #Covishield have arrived safely at the State Vaccination Center, Shillong. This will set in motion the world's biggest vaccination effort from 16th Jan, 2021.11 sites have been identified across #Meghalaya for the launch event."
Further Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb also took to his Twitter handle and wrote, "First consignment of 60,000 doses Covid vaccine arrives at Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport, Agartala. In first phase of vaccination, health and frontline warriors will be vaccinated.
I would like to thank Shri @narendramodi ji as we gears up for world's biggest vaccination drive."
Earlier on January 12, three temperature-controlled trucks rolled out of the Serum Institute gates and left for Pune airport, from where the vaccines was flown across India.
Meanwhile, Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India (SII) said as per the arrangement with AstraZeneca, SII will be making one billion doses of Covishield vaccine over the next one year for India and other low-and-middle-income countries (GAVI countries).
"We will start producing a few millions of doses at personal risk. Based on the success of the trials, we are expecting to launch it by the end of this year. I believe by the first quarter of the next year it will start reaching the masses," Poonawalla said.
"Once we get necessary regulatory approvals, we will start manufacturing in large volumes. We will manufacture about 60-70 million doses per month (which might stretch to 100 million doses later).
With this, we are looking to manufacture around 300-400 million doses by the end of this year," Poonawalla said. Phase 3 clinical trials are expected to commence in India around August 2020. For the Phase 3 trials, we plan to look at 4000-5000 patients in India, he said.
On the pricing of the vaccine, he said, "It is too early to comment on the vaccine's price. However, we will keep it under Rs 1,000. Having said that, our aim is to provide an efficacious and affordable vaccine. We are certain that it will be procured and distributed by governments without charge."
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