New Delhi: Ahead of the January 16 launch of the nationwide vaccination drive, the first consignment of the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine from Pune’s Serum Institute landed in Delhi on Tuesday. Taking to Twitter, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri informed that four airlines— SpiceJet, IndiGo, Air India, Go Air will operate nine flights to transport 56.5 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Pune to 13 cities across the country. Also Read - Serum Institute Fire: Covishield Production Won’t be Affected, No Damage To Existing Stock, Says Poonawala

“Today @airindiain @flyspicejet @goairlinesindia & @IndiGo6E will operate 9 flights from Pune with 56.5 lakh doses to Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Bengaluru, Lucknow & Chandigarh,” Puri said on Twitter. Also Read - Serum Institute Fire: Poonawala Calls It Sorrowful Day, Announces Rs 25 Lakh Compensation

“Vaccine movement has started, he tweeted further, adding that the first two flights operated by “SpiceJet and GoAir from Pune to Delhi and Chennai have taken off”. Also Read - Anguished By The Loss of Lives, Says PM Modi Over Death of 5 Workers In Fire at Serum Institute

Earlier in the day, while talking about the dispatch, Sandip Bhosale, SB Logistics, the logistics team which is handling air transport of the Covishield vaccine had said, “The first flight will leave for Delhi from Pune airport. A total of eight flights- two cargo flights and other regular commercial flights will carry the vaccines. All vaccines will be dispatched by 10 am.”

Earlier on Monday, the government placed firm orders in advanced commitments for over 1.1 crore doses of Covid vaccine from the Serum Institute for inoculating three crore healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase of the nationwide vaccination drive beginning January 16.

In the second phase, those above 50 years and those under 50 years with co-morbid conditions will be vaccinated.