Bengaluru: Karnataka received 6.5-lakh doses of Covishield vaccine from Serum Institute of India (SII) at Pune for administering it to 16-lakh frontline warriors across the state, said state Health Minister K. Sudhakar on Tuesday.
“We have received 6.48-lakh doses of Covishield vaccine in 54 boxes as first consignment in good condition for giving it to our corona warriors across the state from January 16,” said Sudhakar in a statement here.
The state health department has stored the vaccines at its storage facility in the city in the set temperature.
“An additional 1.4-lakh doses of the vaccine will be flown to Belagavi in the state’s northwest region on Wednesday for injecting it to our frontline warriors, including healthcare workers, revenue and police employees,” said Sudhakar on the occasion.
Asserting that the vaccine was safe for use, the minister said the healthcare warriors will get it from January 16 in the first phase of the drive, as they have been battling the pandemic since mid-March.
“The SII has begun rolling out the vaccine under the central government’s flagship ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliance) scheme for the people across the country,” reiterated Sudhakar, who is a medical doctor by profession.
The state government has decided to vaccinate the people across the southern state over the next six months with more supplies from Serum and Covaxin from the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech Ltd.
“About 2-lakh healthcare employees have been trained recently for safe handling, transportation and administration of the vaccine to the 16-lakh frontline warriors across the state,” said Sudhakar.
The Union government has placed an order with Serum to buy 1.1 crore dosages of Covishield for Rs 231 crore at the cost of Rs 210 per dose after the regulator Drugs Control General of India approved its use in the emergency situation.
The Centre has allotted 7.95-lakh vials of Covishield to the state in the first phase. Each dose has 0.5ml and each vial contains 10 dosage of vaccines.
“The second dose will be given 28 days after the first dosage to develop anti- bodies and build resistance to the virus in the body. The warriors will be under observation for 30 days after they get vaccinated to check if they have any side-effects,” added Sudhakar.
Each Covishield bottle has ‘not for sale’ label to prevent its misuse.
Vaccine will be administered at 235 sites across the state. Cold chains have been set up to store Cavitied and Coaxing vaccines in all the 30 districts. Task forces have been formed to supervise the exercise.
The state will get 13.90-lakh doses of vaccine in the first phase for giving it to all the frontline warriors.
The state health department conducted two dry runs to test the vaccination drive at 281 primary health centers in all the districts on January 8 and in five districts on January 2.
The health department has also set up storage facilities in each district with 2,767 cold chain points across the state.