Delhi is all set to receive the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of December this year.

As per a government plan, about one crore of healthcare workers will receive the first doses of the available vaccine.

A report quoted BL Sherwal, medical director of the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital as saying that the hospital will have the first vaccine storage facility in Delhi to store vaccines, which are expected to arrive by the end of this month.

The storage facility comprises a three-storey building spawn over an area of 5,000 square metres inside the hospital premises that is being renovated at present.

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The central government will be providing the facility with deep refrigerators to support the storage temperature of a wide range of vaccines currently under different stages of clinical trials.

“The deep refrigerators will have a storage capacity ranging from -20 to -70-degree Celsius,” Sherwal said.

The deep refrigerators along with regular refrigerators used for storing medical drugs would be available in the facility by the middle of this month.

The centre has directed the states and union territories to review cold storage points and refrigerated vans used under the already existing universal immunization programme.

The programme currently uses around 28,000 cold chain points and 700 refrigerated vans across the country.

These cold chain points are being remodelled to enable storage of different Covid-19 vaccine.

Currently, five vaccine candidates – the Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech, Zydus Cadila, Russian Sputnik – V in collaboration with Dr Reddy, and Biological E are at various stages of trial in the country.

The Serum Institute of India, which is testing and manufacturing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, is likely to apply for its emergency marketing authorization in about a month’s time.

The AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored at temperatures ranging between 2 and 8 degree Celsius.

The lowest minimum temperature at which vaccines can be stored to maintain the cold chain in most areas in the country is -25-degree Celsius.

The Bharat Biotech’s Rotavirus vaccine is the vaccine that can be stored at -20-degree Celsius.

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