Karnataka’s initial batch of Covid-19 vaccine to be SII’s Covishield

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The state government officials have revealed on Sunday that the first batch of 13.90 lakh vaccines to be administered in Karnataka will be Covishield which is anticipated to arrive on Monday in the state.

Dr Ragini Nageshrao, Deputy Director, Immunisation said, “The first batch will be the vaccine developed by the Serum Institute of India.” Dr Ragini further added the government has only been approached by Serum Institute of India (SII) and not by Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar, who conducted the final reviews regarding the vaccine storage on Sunday stated he anticipates the vaccination drive to continue for months now and that not everybody in the state would want vaccination and will be based on the experts opinions. Dr Sudhakar stated, “Healthcare workers will be given the vaccine on priority. It will take 2 months to vaccinate the public.”

The shipment of the total 13.90 lakh doses in 1,39,200 vials will be bifurcated into 11.34 lakh doses to be stored into primary vaccine stores in Bengaluru and the left over 2.5 lakh doses will be processed for storage in Belagavi. From Belagavi, the doses will be sent to 29 block vaccine stores and 671 cold-chain points in Bagalkot, Gadag, Dharwad, Haveri, Vijayapura and Uttara Kannada. For the remaining 22 districts of the state, the supply will be directed from Bengaluru State Vaccine Stores.

The State Vaccine Stores based in Bengaluru consist of a 30 cubic metre walk-in-cooler and a 16 cubic metre walk-in-cooler along with a 32 cubic metre walk-in freezer, where the second walk-in freezer is yet to be delivered from the government.

A health officer stated the two walk-in freezers could have a storage capacity of 55 lakh vials. He said, “This is more than adequate for the 9.37 lakh pulse polio vaccines currently in storage and the 11 lakh Covid vaccine vials expected for Phase 1 deployment.”

Dr Sudhakar said, “It will be further distributed to district centres from there. Twenty-four lakh single-use syringes have also arrived. Thirteen lakh syringes have been delivered. The remaining 11 lakh are to be distributed to the Chitradurga RVS, plus the BBMP and the Ramanagara district stores on Monday.”

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