Tamil Nadu govt doctors' association prez receives 1st dose of Covid-19 vaccine
- President of the Indian Medical Association, Dr J A Jayalal, and a sanitary worker, Muthumari, received the second and third doses respectively in Madurai.
The first person to receive a dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Tamil Nadu was the president of the Tamil Nadu Government Doctors’ Association (TNGDA), Dr K Senthil. He received the vaccine shot at Madurai district’s Government Rajaji Hospital on Saturday. Chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami, deputy chief minister O Paneerselvam, health minister C Vijayabhaskar and health secretary J Radhakrishnan were present to launch the vaccination drive in Madurai.
Dr Senthil received a dose of Covishield vaccine developed by the Serum Institute of India, said TNGDA state secretary, Dr Ravishankar. “We issued a circular to our doctors insisting that they take the Covishield as trials are still on-going for Covaxin,” said Ravishankar. “But we are proud that a person from our association was the first to receive a vaccine developed in India.” Dr Senthil was not reachable for a comment.
Following Senthil, president of the Indian Medical Association, Dr J A Jayalal, and a sanitary worker, Muthumari, received the second and third doses respectively in Madurai. After launching the drive, when reporters asked Palaniswami if he would get vaccinated, the chief minister responded that he would. “Not just me, even you, my family and your family members must all get vaccinated,” Palaniswami told reporters.
Tamil Nadu is administering the vaccine across 166 centres in the state. Ten prominent personalities in the medical field were identified to take the vaccine on the first day to prevent the spread of rumours.
As many as 2,783 people were vaccinated on the first day as of 5.30 pm. Out of this 2,684 received Covishield and 99 received Covaxin. Tamil Nadu had the capacity to vaccinate 16,600 volunteers on Saturday.
“No adverse events or even a small reaction was reported by anyone,” health minister C Vijayabaskar told reporters following the video-conference with Union health minister Harsh Vardhan. “The vaccination will continue in full steam from now. Number of sites will increase according to requirement. Since it was the first day, there were some challenges in the software."
In Chennai, deans of government medical hospitals which are dedicated Covid-19 treatment centres were the first to take the vaccinations. Dr E Theranirajan, dean of the Rajiv Gandhi Government hospital, took the first jab of Covaxin. In a video message which he released, he appealed to people to be vaccinated and allayed fears. “I don’t find any difference and I didn’t develop any reactions,” said Dr Theranirajan after being observed for the stipulated time of 30 minutes. Apollo Hospitals group chairman Dr Prathap C Reddy, 88, also got inoculated with a shot of Covishield. The hospital is one of the 12 vaccination sites in Chennai. Dr V Mohan, chairman of Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre was also among the initial people to be vaccinated.
Tamil Nadu has received a total of 556,550 doses of Covid-19 vaccine of which 536,550 is Covishield vaccine from the Serum Institute of India, Pune and 20,000 doses are of Covaxin from Bharath Biotech. While Covishield was available across all centres, Covaxin was stocked in six centres across the state. Like other centres across the country, here too, candidates were asked to sign consent forms before taking a shot of Covaxin.
The vaccines have been distributed from Chennai to ten regional vaccine storage facilities and down to 45 district-level vaccine stores.