With plans to conduct the biggest dry run ahead of COVID vaccination in India on Friday, the government has begun preparations for transportation of the vaccines to every nook and corner of the country.
The government has started preparing the freight carrying the vaccine vials for transportation to different hubs located across the country, a report in IANS said. It said that the agencies involved in the vaccine roll-out programme will start dispatching the vaccine vials from Thursday onwards. "The dispatch is expected to start late on Thursday evening or early in the day on Friday," IANS quoted officials as saying.
As per the report, the vaccines from their manufacturing units will be transported to the central hub in Pune, and thereon, will be moved to regional hubs situated at different locations across the country.
IANS was told that 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.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Health Ministry said it was prepared to roll out COVID-19 vaccine within 10 days from date of emergency use authorisation, which was issued on January 3, but noted that the final decision lies with the government.
Addressing a press briefing, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said healthcare workers and frontline workers need not register themselves as their database has been populated on to the Co-WIN vaccine delivery management system in a bulk manner.
"Based on the feedback of dry-run, the Health Ministry is ready to introduce COVID-19 vaccine within 10 days from date of emergency use authorisation," he said.
However, while responding to a question on rollout, Bhushan said the final decision will be taken by the government.