30 crore Indians to be vaccinated by July 2021, says Civil Aviation Minister
The vaccine will be available from January, Hardeep Singh Puri has said.
December 29, 2020 / 03:32 PM IST
SII has been adding 40-50 million doses every month, and will be reaching production capacity of about 300 million doses by July 2021. (Image Source: Reuters)
About 30 crore Indians will be vaccinated against COVID-19 by July 2021, for which 60 crore doses will be needed, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on December 29.
The vaccine, he said, would be available from January. "We are working with the Ministry of Health and pharmaceutical companies to plan the roll out," Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, added, during a media briefing.
The government had identified airports and was also in talks with airlines to take care of the logistics, Puri said. "We have identified facilities that will be used for the vaccine roll out. As soon as the vaccines are announced, we will implement the plan," Kharola said.
Puri said that dry run of the vaccine drive was being done in four states. Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Assam are the states chosen for the trial run.
The most critical part would be the management of the vaccine's temperature, said Kharola. The vaccines come with varied requirement. The Pfizer-BioNtech jab has to be stored at minus 70 Celsius.
Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on December 28 said he was hoping for the emergency use approval of AstraZeneca-Oxford University COVID-19 vaccin
e 'Covishield' by the end of this month or January in the UK and India.