Over 2.54 lakh Covishield doses to be delivered at Delhi's central storage facility soon

More than 2.54 lakh doses of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, are slated to be delivered at Delhi's central storage facility soon, even as the city government has made robust preparations for the vaccination roll-out, sources said on Monday. The Delhi government has chosen 89 sites in the national capital, including government and private hospitals, for the first phase of the immunisation drive meant for healthcare workers. AIIMS, Sadarjung Hospital, LNJP Hospital, GTB Hospital, Apollo Hospitals and Max Hospital will be among the vaccination centres here.

On 16 January, the vaccination roll-out is expected to be kicked off from the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital, with a simple ceremony in the presence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendar Jain, sources said.

India's drugs regulator has approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.

Covishield vaccine doses will be initially shipped to 60 consignee points from where those would be distributed to various vaccination centres across India, official sources said. As many as 2,54,500 doses of Covishield are set to be delivered at Delhi's central storage facility, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (RGSSH) in east Delhi.

From there, it will be transported in special vehicle under heavy security to the vaccination centres.

The vaccine is likely to reach Delhi by 14 January and the city government has made robust preparations for the roll-out exercise.

"The storage facility at RGSSH can stock about 50,000 vaccines, and all arrangements have been made there to keep it in temperature-controlled environment," a senior official said.

Vaccination centres are also ready, with two sets of dry runs being conducted in the last few days.

"The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has developed three stations and therefore, has the capacity to do 300 vaccinations per day. But then at the end of the day, it will depend on the number of doses we will receive," AIIMS director Randeep Guleria said.

In Delhi, about three lakh healthcare workers, who will be the first one to get a dose, and nearly six lakh frontline workers, totalling about nine lakh, are among the top priority groups to get the vaccine.

The national capital recorded 306 fresh COVID-19 cases on Monday, the lowest in more than seven months, even as the positivity rate remained much below one per cent.

The infection tally in the city stood at 6.3 lakh and the death toll mounted to 10,666 with 13 new fatalities, according to the official data.

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