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Mumbai airport begins COVID-19 vaccine transportation; 2,400 vials airlifted to Goa

The Wadia Group-owned no-frills airline has scheduled flights carrying vaccines to Lucknow, Cochin and Chandigarh as well, besides Goa, during the day, a GoAir spokesperson told PTI.

January 13, 2021 / 11:58 AM IST

COVID-19 vaccine transportation from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) commenced on Wednesday with budget carrier GoAir airlifting 2,400 vials of Covishield to Goa.

The Wadia Group-owned no-frills airline has scheduled flights carrying vaccines to Lucknow, Cochin and Chandigarh as well, besides Goa, during the day, a GoAir spokesperson told PTI.

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

A massive pan-India inoculation drive against COVID-19 was set in process on Tuesday 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.

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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).

GoAir said it will airlift a total of 69,600 vials of the vaccine.

Mumbai airport, which is the "largest pharma hub", is looking to cater to at least 16 destinations in the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines, the private airport operator had said in a statement to
PTI
first published: Jan 13, 2021 08:17 am

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