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Serum’s vaccine dispatch delayed by one other 48 hours

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(This story initially appeared in on Jan 09, 2021)

PUNE: The large airlift of the Covishield vaccine doses from right here has been delayed by one other 48 hours. It is now more likely to occur solely by Monday. Vaccine producer Serum Institute of India has dismissed speak of the transportation delay being as a result of ‘value negotiations’ with the Union authorities. Transportation was first anticipated to start on Thursday, after which Friday.

Pune airport director Kuldeep Singh stated, “No movement has happened today (Friday) too. As said earlier, we are fully prepared and ready from our end. We can easily handle (the transportation) and are at present handling more than 150 tonnes of cargo in a single day.”

An airline consultant stated on situation of anonymity that “transportation has been postponed until Monday. We don’t have any more information on this right now”.

Meanwhile, SII chief govt officer Adar Poonawalla stated, “There is absolutely no price negotiation at all. The rollout will happen in a few days. There are due processes to be followed before we transport the vaccine doses,” he instructed TOI.

Poonawalla has introduced that Covishield will probably be provided to the federal government at a particular value of Rs 200 a dose for the primary 100 million doses. It will probably be obtainable available in the market for Rs 1,000 a dose.

SII has 50 million doses prepared at its Manjari plant in Pune. It has been ready for the federal government to position a proper order for the doses earlier than it may well undertake the large transportation train. Poonwalla stated his firm is making 50-60 million doses of the vaccine each month.

SII has a fleet of refrigerated vehicles to move the vaccine in chilly packs from its plant in Manjari to Pune airport and likewise to nearer locations, together with Mumbai.

At Pune airport, authorities are contemplating choices resembling altering home flights to cargo flights with the permission of the DGCA and opening a particular slot for fast transport of the vaccine, along with transporting the vaccine by street, consultants and airport officers stated.

Officials stated all choices, together with making a particular slot for locations which don’t have scheduled flights from Pune and opening the runway for flights at evening, could also be thought of. At current, Pune airport doesn’t function flights after eight pm as a result of runway re-carpeting work.

IndiGo, in an official assertion, stated, “In line with our business model and cost leadership strategy, we are happy to evaluate the shipment of Covid-19 vaccines on board our aircraft and will promise to contribute to the best of our abilities.”

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