PM takes the jab to open Covid vaccination drive Phase 2

Our Bureaus New Delhi | Updated on March 01, 2021

45 days after vaccine launch, shots now available for the general population in private facilities, too

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led from the front by getting the jab against Covid-19 as India on Monday opened the second phase of the vaccination programme that allows people outside the priority groups to get immunised.

Modi, who received his first dose of indigenously-developed Covaxin early this morning at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, led a league of notables in getting the Covid shot on Day 1 of Phase 2.

Other VIPs who inoculated today included Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu; Bihar and Odisha Chief Ministers Nitish Kumar and Naveen Patnaik; Union Ministers Amit Shah, S Jaishankar and Jitendra Singh; Infosys founders NR Narayana Murthy and Kris Gopalakrishnan; Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw as well as former diplomat Syed Akbaruddin.

India commenced Covid vaccination from January 16, reserving the first shots for healthcare workers and frontline Covid warriors.

From Monday, people above 60 and those above 45 but with co-morbidities will be able to get the jab from government and private health- care facilities. While it will be free of cost at government centres, private facilities have been allowed to charge a maximum of ₹250 per dose.

Till 7 pm on Monday, 1,28,630 people above 60 and 18,850 with comorbidities were vaccinated taking the total number of vaccination in the day to 4.27 lakh in the country, the Health Ministry said. As many as 25 lakh beneficiaries registered on the first day of the vaccination in general population.

Co-WIN upgraded

The Co-WIN platform, designed and developed specifically for Covid vaccination management, has now been upgraded to allow self-registration.

Eligible beneficiaries can schedule their vaccination session online at centres of their choice. Besides, to help those who are not tech-savvy, State governments are allowed to register cohorts. However, across many States, centres carrying out vaccination reported glitches in the Co-WIN system on the first day.

Even as Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, maker of Covaxin, thanked the Prime Minister for reposing his trust in their indigenously-developed Covaxin, the Telangana government said it has opened around 100 centres, including in private hospitals.

In Kolkata, on the other hand, 25 centres, including 15 private facilities, will carry out the vaccination. In Karnataka, a total of 1,950 senior citizens and those above 45 with co-morbidities got the shot the first day. The State has 60 lakh people above 60 and 16 lakh people with comorbidities to be covered in total.

Gujarat has an elaborate plan for the current phase. According to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, even though it has identified 27,000 locations for the vaccination, 2,195 government centres and 536 private hospitals participated in the drive on Day 1.

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

Published on March 01, 2021

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