Everyone was eagerly waiting for this day: Gehlot on Covid-19 vaccine roll-out
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday urged people not to become complacent even as the vaccination drive against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) was launched across the country, the second-worst affected in the world after the United States.
"Everyone was eagerly waiting for this day. Finally, the vaccine is out... It would take one to one-and-half-a-year to vaccinate everyone. Until then, we need to continue to follow Covid related protocols," Gehlot said according to news agency ANI.
Sudhir Bhandari, the principal of Jaipur’s SMS Medical College, became the first to get the Covid-19 vaccination in Rajasthan along with three other doctors--Ish Munjal, Tarun Patni, and GL Sharma.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the country’s India's vaccination drive which is aimed at inoculating 30 million health care and frontline workers in the first phase. Two vaccines—Covidshield, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, and Covaxin, developed indigenously by Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech—are being administered in the inoculation programme.
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The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had earlier this month approved Oxford Covid-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and Covaxin for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for the world’s largest inoculation drive.
As he launched the vaccination drive, Modi told citizens to not fall for rumours against any of the vaccines and reassured the country that emergency use authorisation was given to two made in India vaccines only after scientists were convinced of their safety and effectiveness.
After healthcare and frontline workers, people above 50 years of age will be vaccinated and then those younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities are going to be inoculated, the government has said. The central government will bear the cost of vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase.
The drive begins on a day when the number of confirmed cases of the viral disease in the country stands at 10,542,841. However, the active cases of Covid-19 have dropped below 212,000.
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