Tamil Nadu on Tuesday received the first consignment of 5,36,500 doses of Covishield vaccine from the Serum Institute of India and 20,000 doses of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin would be available later, the State government said.
The consignment of 53,650 Covishield vials of 10 doses each (5,36,500 doses) was brought in a private airline flight and taken to the cold storage facilities here, including the State Vaccine Store, Directorate of Medical Services and Directorate of Public Health campuses, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said, adding, TN is geared up to begin the vaccination programme.
Of the total 5.36 lakh doses, 5.12 lakh doses are to be distributed. While 1,18,000 doses would be for Chennai, Coimbatore will receive 73,200 doses, followed by other districts. With the commencement of the programme on January 16, healthcare workers will be administered shots in the first phase.
The Health Secretary added that the vaccination will be done in a phased manner and two doses of the vaccine will be given to all those who have registered on CoWIN app. He added that the registration is strictly a voluntary process and more than four lakh people have already done so. He also clarified that hospitals who do not opt for vaccination of their staff will not be forced to do so. So far, the Health Department has identified 300 vaccination sites for the first phase. A total of 47,000 COVID-19 vaccination sites have been identified across the State. The vaccines are being distributed to 10 regional centres and 51 walk-in coolers at district levels from the State vaccine store. The consignment was checked by health officials and then dispatched in cold boxes to the respective centres. “A total of 46 vehicles were used for transportation of the vaccines to regional centers and vaccination sites,” said Radhakrishnan said.