Kerala received its first consignment of the Covidshield vaccine by Oxford, being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. Cumulatively, 4,33,500 doses of the vaccine arrived at Kochi Airport and Trivandrum International Airport on Wednesday morning. National Health Mission sources said out of the 4.33 lakh doses of the vaccine, 1,100 would be sent to Mahe, which is an enclave of Puducherry and lies between Kozhikode and Kannur districts.
The GoAir flight carrying 1,80,000 doses of vaccine landed in Kochi at 10.35 am, officials said. Special refrigerated vans were arranged to transport the vaccine safely to the Ernakulam regional vaccine store. Transfer of vaccine boxes from the plane to vans was completed in 10 minutes. From these, 1,19,500 doses of vaccine were transported to Calicut International Airport. Vaccines to Mahe were also transported to Calicut airport. Meanwhile, a second flight carrying 1,34,000 doses of vaccine later flew into Trivandrum airport.
The vaccine will be stored at the regional vaccine centres at Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode from where it will be distributed to 133 centres across the state. State Health Minister KK Shailaja stated that vaccines are being transported to district storage centres and from there, and they will be transported to various vaccination centres in districts.
Ernakulam will receive the highest number of vaccine doses at 73,000, followed by Thiruvananthapuram (64,020), Kozhikode (40,970), Thrissur (37,640), Kannur (32,650), Palakkad (30,870), Kottayam (29,170), Malappuram (28,890), Kollam (25,960), Alappuzha (22,460), Pathanamthitta (21,030), Wayanad (9,590), Idukki (9,240) and Kasaragod (6,860).
During the first phase, vaccination will be done in 133 centres across the state on Saturday. Health workers will be given vaccination during the first phase. So far, 3,62,870 people have registered themselves for the vaccination, which will commence from January 16.