Vaccine drive held smoothly, no serious side effects: Govt
There were no serious side effects on the first day of the vaccination drive against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the Union health ministry said on Saturday, as India launched the world’s largest immunisation exercise that aims to vaccinate 30 million health care and frontline workers in the first phase.
However, as opposed to the target of vaccinating about 300,000 people on the first day, according to the health ministry’s data, 191,181 health care workers were vaccinated at 3,351 centres. There were 16,755 personnel involved in the vaccination programme. Additionally, 3,429 people were vaccinated in defence institutions.
Later in the day, an official at the AIIMS-Delhi said a security guard developed an allergic reaction after receiving Covid vaccine. “He is kept under observation of doctors at the hospital,” the official was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Some glitches were observed in the functioning of the Co-WIN app, the digital platform deployed for the drive, which the ministry said were resolved later. “Since this was the first day of the vaccination drive and it was our first real-time experience, there were observed some minor glitches that were resolved immediately,” said Manohar Agnani, additional secretary, health ministry, who is also the nodal officer at the ministry for vaccine delivery.
The Serum Institute of India’s Covishield was supplied to all states and Union territories, while Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin was supplied to 12 states and Union territories.
A total of 11 states received Covishield and Covaxin both. The states that got both the vaccine supplies were Assam (65), Bihar (301), Delhi (81), Haryana (77), Karnataka (242), Maharashtra (285), Odisha (161), Rajasthan (167), Tamil Nadu (160), Telangana (140), and Uttar Pradesh (317).
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan interacted with officials of the states and UTs through video conferencing to review the drive. “Today is a very important day for us. The vaccination drive, for which preparations were being done from the last five months under the unwavering and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has finally started. We have got encouraging and satisfactory feedback results on the first day. This indicates that we are moving towards victory in the fight against coronavirus,” he said.
“India has achieved significant progress on the COVID containment front. The cooperation of scientists, researchers, doctors and all the citizens who have volunteered for the clinical trial have ensured that we have two vaccines ready for administration in a span of 10 months,” he added.
The minister also urged the states to make effective strategy to counter the myths and misinformation and use all communication channels to disseminate the right information. “We need to be vigilant against the rumours being spread on social media which are raising doubts in the mind of the public regarding the vaccine side effects.”
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