India has capacity to store Covid vaccines requiring low temperatures: Centre to SC

New Delhi: India has the capacity to store vaccines that may require a lower temperature in the range of minus 15 to minus 20 degrees Celsius and there are over 29,000 cold chain points (CCPs) across the country where vaccines are stored at the recommended temperatures, the Centre has told the Supreme Court.

In an affidavit filed in the apex court in a suo motu case on distribution of essential supplies and services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centre has said that at present, the two vaccines -- Covishield and Covaxin -- are required to be stored at a temperature range of two to eight degrees Celsius.

The Centre has said the requirement for cold storage may change with the arrival of other COVID-19 vaccines in the future and it is fully prepared to take appropriate steps as and when such vaccines are available.

"The country also has the capacity to store vaccines which may require a lower temperature in the range of minus 15 to minus 20 degrees Centigrade. The Sputnik V vaccine requires storage at minus 18 degrees Centigrade," said the affidavit filed on Saturday.

"It is submitted that there are more than 29,000 cold chain points (CCPs) across the country in states/UTs, where the vaccines are stored at recommended temperatures," it said, adding, "Of the above CCPs, four national level stores i.e. Government Medical Store Depot (GMSD) are managed by the Government of India and the remaining are managed by the respective state/UT governments," it added.

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