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Coronavirus vaccine: Mumbai airport to see off 227 boxes of 2.72 lakh doses

2.7 lakh doses of the coronavirus vaccines are set to fly to 20 destinations across the country

January 13, 2021 / 07:52 PM IST

Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport will see 227 boxes of vaccines being flown out to 22 destinations on January 13. These boxes contain about 2.72 lakh doses of the vaccine.

The first shipment departed from the airport at 5:20am, to Goa, with GoAir carrying 2 boxes of the vaccine. SpiceJet, IndiGo and Vistara are the other airlines who are flying with the vaccine boxes.

Though Serum Institute of India, which is making the Covishield vaccine, is based in Pune, over half of the doses will be transported from the Mumbai airport, which has a higher capacity. In an earlier interview with Moneycontrol, Rajeev Jain, CEO of Mumbai International Airport Ltd, which runs the airport, said it could handle 200 tons of vaccine a day.

The vaccines will fly out to about 20 cities on January 13. These include Bagdogra, Rajkot, Ranchi, Imphal, Agartala, Cochin, Bhopal, Kanpur and Jammu.

The airline added that it was following a SOP for vaccine movement, and that the terminal had processed the cargo in "just 7 minutes, right from goods acceptance to dispatch at ramp."

COVID-19 vaccine FAQs: Can you choose your vaccine, what will be the cost and other questions answered

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Apart from setting up a task force to oversee the vaccine movement, the airport also has started a 24-hour call centre. Giving details about its infrastructure, the airport said it has "Asia's largest temperature-controlled Export Pharma Excellence Centre and Pharma-dedicated Import Cold Zone, a first-of-its-kind - 'Cooltainer' facility and the largest hub for Envirotainer movements with over 60 power outlets for processing pharma active containers."

Apart from the Mumbai airport, the Hyderabad airport is another hub for vaccine distribution as it is home to Bharat Biotech, which is making the Covaxin vaccine.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jan 13, 2021 04:05 pm

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