As India is all set to begin its nationwide COVID-19 inoculation drive, starting 16 January, the first flight carrying the Covishield vaccine, reached New Delhi on Tuesday morning.

As per reports, the SpiceJet flight SG8937 departed the Pune airport at 8.05 am landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi around 10.15 am.

The first consignment of Covishield consisted of 34 boxes and weighing 1088 kg, Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director, SpiceJet.

“I am happy to share that SpiceJet has carried India’s first consignment of Covid-19 vaccines today [Tuesday]. We will be carrying multiple vaccine consignments to different Indian cities including Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Patna and Vijayawada through the day today,” Singh said.

“Today marks the beginning of a long and decisive phase in India’s fight against the pandemic and SpiceJet is proud to assist in the biggest vaccination drive in the history of mankind,” he said.

To fight against Covid-19, the country earlier granted emergency approval to two vaccines — Covishield by Serum Institute of India and Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech.

The central government on Monday ordered 11 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from Serum Institute of India, the Pune-based pharmaceutical firm confirmed. The cost of the vaccine to the government would be ?200 per vaccine dose for the first 100 million doses, the drugmaker noted.

Besides Delhi, the vaccines will be dispatched to 12 other locations across the country in seven more flights on Tuesday, reports said.

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