GUWAHATI: A SpiceJet freighter from Pune brought the first consignment of 2.40 lakh doses of COVID vaccines for Assam and Meghalaya and delivered the same at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) Airport at Borjhar here on Tuesday evening.
Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the vaccination drive will start from January 16. The Health department aims to vaccinate 7,400 Health workers on the first day. The first phase of vaccination drive will cover 1.70 lakh individuals.
On the other hand, sources in the State Health department said that around 1.70 lakh doctors, nurses, para-medics and various other Health workers would be covered under the vaccination drive in the first phase.
A press release issued by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), North Eastern Region, stated that the freighter ferried over 730 kg of cargo in 20 boxes having vaccine doses to be distributed in the two States. The 20 boxes have vaccine close to 2.40 lakh doses. Of them, while 17 boxes are for Assam, the remaining three are for Meghalaya. Each box has 12,000 doses of the vaccine.
The consignment of COVID-19 vaccines has been immediately shifted to the cold storage, set up adjacent to the LGBI Airport.
Regional Director of AAI, North East Region M.Suresh said, "We are very much equipped to transport COVID vaccines to the different parts of the north-eastern region. The LGBI has been marked as the nodal point of distribution of the vaccine for the region; and we will fully cooperate with the agencies for the timely distribution of vaccine through air cargo. Our cargo wing in Guwahati has readied its infrastructure, and marked the pick-up points for effective and smooth flow of consignment."
Suresh further said that the vaccine boxes were handed over to the respective Health Departments of Assam and Meghalaya for further distribution.
The frontline staffs such as police, CRPF, emergency staffs will be vaccinated in the second phase.
The third phase of vaccination will cover the high risk group (people in the age group of 50 to 60 years) with co-morbid condition.
The State has already created infrastructures and facilities to store 670 lakh doses of vaccines at one time in the temperature in between 2 to 8 degres Celsius. The State has also set up 723 cold-chain points where the vaccines will be finally administered. The vaccine sites have been also identified.