A doctor poses after receiving a dose of the Bharat Biotech's coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine at a government-run hospital in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Reuters)
A doctor poses after receiving a dose of the Bharat Biotech's coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine at a government-run hospital in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Reuters)

9 states, UTs among better performing areas during Covid-19 vaccination drive

The government said 631,417 people have been vaccinated by the end of the fourth day of its mammoth inoculation drive, with only nine taken to hospitals after complaining of side effects.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Meenakshi Ray
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 10:47 PM IST

Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan were among the nine better performing states and Union territories in terms of vaccinating their healthcare workers with more than 70 per cent coverage in the first two days of the inoculation drive, the government said on Tuesday. Union health secretary Bhushan said Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Punjab needs to improve. "Better performing states in Covid-19 vaccination coverage include Lakshadweep (89.3 per cent), Sikkim (85.7 per cent), Odisha (82.6 per cent), Telangana (81.1 per cent), UP (71.4 per cent), Rajasthan (71.3 per cent)," he said during the press conference.

The government said 631,417 people have been vaccinated by the end of the fourth day of its mammoth inoculation drive, with only nine taken to hospitals after complaining of side effects. They have been given two shots, one developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII), and another developed by Bharat Biotech in partnership with the India Council of Medical Research. The vaccination programme was launched on Saturday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as 30 million healthcare and other front-line workers will be the first to be given the shot.

Also read | India 'deeply honoured' to meet the world's healthcare needs: PM Modi

"The cumulative number of healthcare workers vaccinated against COVID19 has touched 6,31,417(till 6 pm today) through 11,660 sessions, as per the provisional report. 3,800 sessions were held till 6 pm today," the Union health ministry said in a release. "1,77,368 beneficiaries were vaccinated till 6 pm today, the fourth day of nationwide COVID19 vaccination. Final reports would be completed for the day by late tonight," the ministry added.

It also said that only nine people required hospitalisation after reporting side effects. "In Delhi, three cases have been discharged whereas one case is under observation at Rajiv Gandhi, Hospital Shahdara. One more AEFI (adverse event following immunisation) case from Uttarakhand has been discharged. In Karnataka, one person is discharged and other person is stable and under observation at District Hospital, Chitradurga. In Chhattisgarh also, one person is discharged. In Rajasthan, one case is of suspected anaphylaxis is fine and under observation at District Hospital, Bangar," the ministry said.

Also read | Nasal vaccine candidate against Covid-19 could be a game-changer: Dr VK Paul

Bhushan said during the press conference that India inoculated more people on the first day of its vaccination drive than the United States, Britain and France did. Bhushan said 207,229 people were vaccinated in India on the first day, while in the US 79,458 people were vaccinated, in the UK 19,700 and 73 were vaccinated in France on the first day.

"The important point here is that if we look at the first-week figures then the US conducted vaccinations of 556,208 people so that number will already cross by Day 3. In the UK, in the first seven days, 137,897 were vaccinated, 516 people were vaccinated in France in the first week and in Russia, 52,000 people were vaccinated in the first week. So these are the comparative figures for you and we have just started so we will pick up speed," he said.

Also read | People vaccinated against Covid-19 higher than twice the number of active cases

NITI Aayog member VK Paul said concerns about adverse effects and serious problems after immunisation as of now seem to be unfounded, negligible, insignificant and stressed that both Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Covishield of SII are safe. Paul said it was sad that "doctors, nurses and healthcare workers are refusing to get vaccinated" and requested the people to get the shots. He said health workers who failed to take vaccine doses that had been set aside for them were not fulfilling their "societal responsibility".

"Please understand the whole world is clamouring for vaccines. If our healthcare workers, our doctors and nurses, if they are declining to take it, I feel sorry. I plead with them, on behalf of the government, because we don't know what shape this pandemic will take going forward," he added.

Also read | Centre issues Letter of Comfort to Bharat Biotech for 45 lakh doses of Covaxin

India reported 10,064 infections, the lowest in seven months, taking the tally to 10.58 million. Deaths rose by an eight-month low figure of 137, taking the country's toll to 152,556.

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