As PM Launches Vaccine Drive, States Across India Administer Jabs
In the first phase of vaccine rollout, 3 crore people across the country are expected to be administered the dose.
The COVID-19 vaccination kicked off on Saturday, 16 January, with the first official shot given to a sanitation worker at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
The pan-India vaccination drive was launched remotely by Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conferencing. In Delhi, vaccines were administered in the presence of Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria. Guleria himself received the jab, followed by other senior doctors at AIIMS.
In the first phase of vaccine rollout, three crore people across the country are expected to be administered the dose.
“Today, when we've developed our own vaccine, the world is looking at India with hope. As our vaccination drive will move forward, other countries of world will benefit from it,” Prime Minister Modi said at the inauguration event, adding “India's vaccine and our production capability must be used for human interest, this is our commitment.”
The Quint was present at vaccination centres across the country and reports on the first shots being administered nationwide.
Apart from those at AIIMS, Dr Pragya Shukla was the first to be vaccinated at the Delhi State Cancer Institute. Medical professionals and frontline workers at private hospitals, including Max Hospital, were also administered the vaccine jabs.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said 8,100 people will get the vaccine across 81 vaccination centres in Delhi. “I appeal to the people not to pay heed to rumours. Experts have said that the vaccines are safe,” Kejriwal was quoted as saying after witnessing vaccine administration at the LNJP hospital.
Dr Jayanthi, Dean of the Government Medical College, Omandurar, became the first person in Tamil Nadu to receive the shot.
“After 2-3 weeks of the first dose, antibodies start building. Then after four weeks, the same dose is administered again for the second time,” Dr Jayanthi told The Quint.
Similar to other cities, Kolkata, too, saw a doctor being administered the first vaccine shot – Dr Bipasha Sen of AMRI Hospital.
“2021 should be something new for all of us,” Dr Sen said, adding that the journey as a medical professional in COVID units was “very scary.”
“It was scary for my children, for my husband. My friends and family were worried as I was working in the COVID unit,” she told The Quint.
The state-run SSK Hospital, along with a private one like AMRI, is giving out the vaccine shots.
Mumbai is administering vaccine shots across 10 centres. While nine of them are providing the AstraZeneca Covishield doses, one centre is giving Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
Dr Madhura was the first to get the vaccine at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) Jumbo facility.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated the vaccination centre at BKC Jumbo COVID-19 hospital in Mumbai and witnessed the vaccine administration along with Aditya Thackeray.
Umesh Chandra Sarma, 70, a former vice-chancellor of the Srimanta Sankardeva University of Health Sciences (SSUHS), became the first person to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Assam on Saturday.
Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was among those who attended the launch of the vaccination drive in the state.
The state has received 2.21 lakh doses of Covid vaccines so far. This includes over 2 lakh doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield vaccine and 20 thousand doses of Covaxin, indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech.
Nagaratna, a ward attendant at Bengaluru Medical college, was given the first of COVID-19 vaccine in the state capital in the presence of Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.
There are a total of eight centres across Bengaluru where the Covaxin shots are being administered.
The COVID-19 vaccination drive was also underway at the Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) in Hubli, ANI reported. "Today, a total of 560 people across Dharwad district will be vaccinated at five centres," Dr Narayan Hebsur had said earlier.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth witnessed the COVID-19 vaccine administration at Balrampur hospital in Lucknow, ANI reported.
"102 health workers would receive vaccine at the hospital today, out of which 15 people have been given so far and every one of them is totally fine," he had said.
Dr Nanesh Vadekar was the first person in Pune to get vaccinated at the city’s Ruby Hall Hospital.
Of the 9.63 lakh Covishield vaccine doses for Maharashtra, a total of 11,240 vaccine doses have been set aside for the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS). A total of 7,930 vaccine doses have been allocated for AFMS in Pune while 1,610 have been set aside for Mumbai, The Indian Express reported.
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.