Over 1.9 lakh get the jab on Day 1 of mega Covid vaccine drive

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2021

AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria getting Covid-19 vaccine at AIIMS, in New Delhi on Saturday   -  Sandeep Saxena

More than 3,000 sessions held, 16,755 personnel involved in the programme

The much-anticipated Covid-19 vaccination drive was rolled out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday with 1.91 lakh beneficiaries across the country getting the jab.

The Prime Minister hailed the speed at which India’s scientists delivered two vaccines and also exhorted people not to heed rumours and propaganda questioning their safety and efficacy, saying that scientists have given approval to them after they were convinced.

Soon after the launch, Covid shots were given to healthcare workers, the first priority group. By vaccinating healthcare workers, the country was paying a tribute to the dedication and resolve they had showed to save millions of lives from the virus, the Prime Minister said.

Once one crore doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers receive the jab, it would be the turn of frontline warriors like sanitation workers, the armed forces and police personnel whose numbers, all totalling 2 crore.

The government has already said the cost of vaccinating these priority groups would be borne by the Centre and ₹480 crore has already been disbursed to the States from the PMCARES fund for meeting the vaccination expense.

Vaccination sites

Over 3,000 sessions were held across the country with 16,755 personnel actively participating. The number of sessions will be ramped up to cover more beneficiaries in the coming days. Each site is expected to handle 100 vaccinations a day.

In Gujarat, where 161 centres are operational, inoculationfirst commenced in Ahmedabad’s Civil Hospital in the presence of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel. Gujarat has received 2.76 lakh Covishield doses in the first lot.

In Telangana, 3,530 people received Covid-19 vaccine on the first day across 140 centres. Nearly 20 of the beneficiaries developed minor reactions to the vaccines, said G Srinivasa Rao, Telangana’s Director of Public Health.

Andhra Pradesh plans to vaccinate about 3.7 lakh healthcare workers over the next 15 days at 332 locations, according to officials.

A total 7.17 lakh health workers would receive Covid shots in Karnataka in the first phase. “We are aiming to vaccinate 24,300 people on the first-day itself. We have 8.14 lakh doses and the initial phase is expected to be completed within a week,” State Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said.

In West Bengal, over 20,000 medical staff received vaccination across 207 sites whereas 285 centres are in operation in Maharashtra.

Apollo Hospitals Chairman Pratap C Reddy was among the first 2,500 people who received the shot in Tamil Nadu, which plans to cover a total of 5.36 lakh people in the first phase.

(With inputs from Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai Bureaus)

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Published on January 16, 2021

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