‘A Day of Tremendous Relief’: Harsh Vardhan on COVID Vaccine Drive

Catch all the updates on the launch of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in India here. 

5 min read
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A sanitation worker in Delhi became one of the first persons to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in India on Saturday, 16 January, as one of the world's biggest vaccination drives against the virus was launched in the country.

Holding a video conference with the health ministers of states and Union territories in the evening, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said, "Today is perhaps the day of tremendous relief for all of us in the past one year."

As many as 1,91,181 beneficiaries were vaccinated against COVID-19 across 3,351 session sites in India on Saturday, the Union Health Ministry said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the pan-India vaccination drive at 10:30 am via video conferencing. It came days after the country's top drug regulator gave emergency use authorisation to two vaccine candidates.

  • In a briefing on Saturday evening, the government said no case of post-vaccination hospitalisation has been reported so far
  • Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla took to Twitter to wish success to the drive and also shared a video of him taking the shot
  • India plans to inoculate 3 crore health and frontline workers in the first phase of vaccination, followed by those above 50 and those with co-morbidities
  • The two vaccine candidates given emergency use approval in India are Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’ and Serum Institute’s ‘Covishield’
  • Since the pandemic reached India a little less than a year back, the country has recorded over 1.05 crore cases, with the death toll standing at over 1.52 lakh

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9:30 PM , 16 Jan

'Small Section Spreading Rumours About Vaccines': Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

While holding a video conference with the health ministers of states and UTs, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan reportedly said, “There's a small section that is spreading rumours about vaccines, their utility, their safety, to mislead the people in the society. But such a large number of people received vaccines today with great joy and enthusiasm. Eminent doctors received the vaccine.”

6:54 PM , 16 Jan

'Step Towards Victory Will be Taken Quickly': Harsh Vardhan Interacts With State Counterparts

Holding a video conference with the health ministers of all states and Union territories after the rollout of the vaccine drive, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said it seems almost obvious that the step towards victory against COVID-19 will be taken quickly.

"The vaccines have been presented before the country like 'Sanjeevani'... in the fight against COVID- 19. The fight was gradually heading towards victory, now it seems almost definite that the step towards victory will be taken quickly," he was quoted as saying by ANI.

He pointed out that the data in the last 3-4 months showed the country was gradually heading towards victory against the pandemic. "To further speed this up, our scientists developed two indigenous vaccines with the support of our scientists, doctors, researchers the vaccine manufacturing industry and the citizens of India who volunteered for clinical trials to make the research of scientists successful," he added.

5:51 PM , 16 Jan

'India Fought Most Successful War Against COVID-19 Under PM's Leadership': Amit Shah

Speaking in Karnataka's Bhadravathi on Saturday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said India has fought the most successful war against coronavirus in the world under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi.

"The world has been fighting a battle against COVID-19 for over a year. Several people died. It has been the toughest battle in humankind's history. But I'm happy to say that India fought the most successful battle against COVID-19 under PM Modi's leadership... It is a matter of joy for all Indians that we have been able to take this battle to its last stage with the help of two made in India vaccines," he was quoted as saying by ANI.

5:44 PM , 16 Jan

'Will Also Export Vaccines to Other Countries': Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

Speaking in Lucknow the day India's COVID-19 vaccination drive was launched, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, "After seeing the results of COVID-19 vaccination today, many more people will turn up to get inoculated. We will export the vaccines to other countries also as India believes in 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' (the world is one family)."


Published: 16 Jan 2021, 8:13 AM IST
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