Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said that the COVID-19 vaccines 'Covishield' and 'Covaxin' are on the verge of being rolled out.
The Centre has finalised 41 destinations for the delivery of coronavirus vaccines.
In the north region, Karnal and the national capital Delhi have been selected as mini-hub for the delivery of vaccines. In the east and northeast region, Kolkata will be the hub for the vaccines' delivery. Whereas, Pune will be the central hub, and Chennai and Hyderabad will be southern India's hub.
The health ministry said the vaccine will be supplied to the identified consignee points of 19 states and union territories -- Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal -- by the supplier.
The vaccine for the remaining 18 states and union territories -- Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Daman and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand -- will be received from their respective government medical store depots (GMSDs).
Dr Vardhan said that some priority groups have been decided for vaccination as advised by the experts' groups formed by the prime minister.
In the first phase, the health workers, frontline workers, like armed forces, central police, municipal workers will be inoculated. And, in the second phase, people over 50 years will be administered the vaccine.
Additionally, the government has roped in the Indian Air Force and commercial airlines for the delivery of the two vaccines across the country.
The government officials on Thursday informed that "Transport aircraft of the Air Force, including the C-130 Js and AN-32s are planned to be used for taking the vaccines to the remote parts of the country. Arrangements are being made by the supplier to provide the vaccines in specialised containers that will keep the vaccines refrigerated safely for 24 hours during transportation and delivery to the local administration officials".