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Transported 3.5 tonnes of COVID-19 vaccines to 11 cities on Wednesday: SpiceJet

The movement of COVID-19 vaccines began on Tuesday morning. The shots will be used in the vaccination drive beginning Saturday.

January 13, 2021 / 05:06 PM IST
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SpiceJet said it transported 3.5 tonnes of COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday from Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad to 11 cities across the country.

The movement of COVID-19 vaccines began on Tuesday morning. The shots will be used in the vaccination drive beginning Saturday.

"On January 13, 2021, SpiceJet shipped 111 boxes of Covid-19 vaccine, weighing 3.5 tonnes from Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad to 11 cities including Bagdogra, Dehradun, Srinagar, Jammu, Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Jabalpur, Ranchi, Rajkot, Delhi and Bengaluru," the airline said in a statement.

The carrier said its freighter flight SG7555 operating from Hyderabad to Bengaluru took-off at 8.50 AM on Wednesday with a consignment of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin weighing 90 kg. It landed in Bengaluru at 10.23 am.

"From Mumbai, SpiceJet carried 74 boxes of Serum Institute of India's (SII's) Covishield vaccine to various cities including two to Bagdogra, 10 to Dehradun, seven to Srinagar, six to Jammu, six to Kanpur, nine to Gorakhpur, 13 to Jabalpur, 14 to Ranchi & seven to Rajkot," it noted.

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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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From Pune, SpiceJet carried 34 boxes of Covishield to Delhi on Wednesday.

"This follows the successful shipment of 4 million doses of Covishield by SpiceJet on January 12," it noted.

The government on Monday placed firm orders in advanced commitments for over six crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines from SII and Bharat Biotech for inoculating three crore healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase of the vaccination drive scheduled to start from January 16. The cost is Rs 1,300 crore.

Covishield is developed by Oxford University and British-Swedish company AstraZeneca and manufactured by the SII.

Bharat Biotech has developed the indigenous vaccine Covaxin in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
PTI
first published: Jan 12, 2021 10:24 pm

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