Serum Institute of India’s coronavirus vaccine Covishield’s first batch has left Pune early this morning amid tight security. The development comes four days ahead of the nationwide inoculation drive against coronavirus.

Three temperature-controlled trucks rolled out of the Serum Institute gates with their precious cargo shortly before 5 am. The trucks carried 478 boxes of the vaccines, each box weighing 32 kg, news agency PTI reported quoting an unnamed official.

Before the vehicles left the facility for the Pune airport, a puja was performed.

From the airport, the vaccines are being dispatched to 13 cities.

“Ready get set go! Stand by India! The vaccine to kill the disease is being loaded into the aircraft for distribution all over the country now,” Pune airport tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting with Chief Ministers and Administrators of all States and Union Territories to review the status and preparedness for COVID-19 vaccination on 11 January 2021, via video conferencing.

Coordinated battle against the virus

The Prime Minister lauded the constant coordination and communication between the Centre and the States, and timely decision making, which has played a big role in the fight against the virus. As a result, the spread of the virus has been contained vis-a-vis several other countries. He also appreciated the State governments for working zealously in this battle.

The Prime Minister said that the country is in a decisive phase of this fight with the start of the world’s biggest vaccination campaign from 16 January. He underlined that it’s a matter of pride that both the vaccines for which Emergency Use Authorization has been given are made in India.

The Chief Ministers expressed happiness at the rollout of vaccination. They discussed some issues and concerns about vaccines, which were clarified in the meeting.