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Vistara joins COVID-19 vaccine transportation drive, carries shipments to various destinations

According to Vistara, it airlifted four boxes (weighing 90.5 kg) of Covaxin, the indigenous coronavirus vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech, to Delhi from Hyderabad on its flight UK 860.

January 13, 2021 / 04:29 PM IST
(Image: Twitter/@Boeing_In)

(Image: Twitter/@Boeing_In)

Vistara, a joint venture airline of the Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, also joined the COVID-19 vaccine transportation drive in the country on Wednesday, carrying multiple shipments to various destinations including a flight to Varanasi from Mumbai.

Vistara is actively participating in transportation of COVID-19 vaccines and collaborating with the government approved suppliers, the Delhi-based airline said in a statement.

As part of this, the airline carried multiple shipments of the vaccines on various routes on Wednesday, it said.

According to Vistara, it airlifted four boxes (weighing 90.5 kg) of Covaxin, the indigenous coronavirus vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech, to Delhi from Hyderabad on its flight UK 860.

Vistara also operated a flight to Varanasi, which transported 16 boxes (weighing 512 kg) of Covishield from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on Wednesday, it said.

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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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Covishield is developed by Oxford University and British-Swedish company AstraZeneca and manufactured by Pune-based pharma firm Serum Institute of India (SII).

Earlier in the day, budget carrier GoAir was the first airline to commence vaccine transportation from the city airport, a day after a massive pan-India inoculation drive against COVID-19 was set in process with more than 56 lakh doses of the Covishield vaccine leaving Pune for 13 cities across the country, four days before the vaccinations are scheduled to begin on January 16.

GoAir's first flight carrying 2,400 vials (24,000 doses) of Covishield vaccine took off at 5.20 am on Wednesday and reached Goa at 6.30 am.

The Wadia Group-owned no-frills airline has scheduled flights carrying a total of 69,600 vials of the vaccines to Lucknow, Cochin and Chandigarh, besides Goa, during the day, according to the airline.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
PTI
first published: Jan 13, 2021 04:29 pm

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