Civil Aviation Ministry has met airlines to discuss logistics of vaccine transportation and delivery. This development comes after the government said that the vaccine would be rolled out 10 days after the date of approval for emergency use. "Based on feedback of dry-run, government said it is ready to introduce COVID-19 vaccine within 10 days from date of emergency use authorisation," said Union Health Ministry secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
"In line with our business model and cost leadership strategy, we are happy to evaluate the shipment of the COVID-19 vaccines onboard our aircraft and will promise to contribute to the best of our abilities," said IndiGo.
The announcement of the roll-out came days after the drug regulator gave its nod to Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech for emergency use of its coronavirus vaccine candidates Covishield and Covaxin.
The health ministry had said that there are four primary vaccine stores called GMSD in Karnal, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. There are 37 vaccine stores in the country that store the vaccines and distribute them further. He added that the facility as well as the number of vaccines stored and temperature checks are monitored digitally.
Some of the salient features of the CoWIN Delivery Management Plan include a 24x7 helpline, chatbox with pattern recognition, digital lockers for integrated data retrieval and storing of vaccines, QR code certification, SMSes in 12 languages.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved Serum Institute of India's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for restricted emergency use in the country. DCGI's approval came on the basis of recommendations by a coronavirus subject expert committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
Serum CEO Adar Poonawalla said that the vaccine would cost $3-4 or Rs 212-292 per shot to the Indian government but will be priced more in the private market.
In a joint statement issued by Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla and Bharat Biotech Chairman Dr Krishna Ella, the companies said that the more important task before them is to save lives and livelihoods in India and across the world.