India rolls out Mega Covid-19 vaccination drive
New Delhi: Paying tribute to healthcare workers, doctors, nurses, and scientists who were at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched India's Covid-19 vaccination drive on January 16, 2021.
The world's largest vaccination campaign aimed to vaccinate 30 million frontline workers in the first phase of the program. However, reports of adverse reactions and even death came to the fore shortly after receiving the vaccine.
The jab was administered to various such forefront Covid-19 warriors. Starting with the national capital, where All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS) director Randeep Guleria received the vaccination after a sanitation worker Manish Kumar from AIIMS was the first person in India to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus in presence of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.
Delhi-government-run LNJP Hospital, GTB Hospital where a 22-year-old resident doctor became the first person to receive the Covid-19 vaccine shot, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, DDU Hospital, BSA Hospital, Delhi State Cancer Institute, ILBS Hospital were among the vaccination sites.
On the other hand, Tamil Nadu rolled out the Covid-19 vaccination drive at 166 sites across the state with a government doctor becoming the first to be administered the shot. Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association (TNGDA) president Dr K Senthil was the first to be administered the vaccine in the state at the Government Rajaji Hospital premises in the presence of Palaniswami, his Cabinet colleagues and senior officials report PTI.
The New Indian Express reports that the vaccination drive kick-started at the Apollo's Vaccination Centre in Greams Road along with four major government hospitals in the city, Stanley GH, Kilpauk Medical College Hospital, Omandurar GH, and Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.
Apollo Hospitals Chairman Dr C Prathap Reddy took the first shot of COVID-19 vaccine at their Greams Road Hospital's vaccination center as part of the drive. Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital Dean Dr E Theranirajan and Omandurar Dean Dr R Jayanthi received the first jab of Covaxin at Chennai on Saturday.
Similarly, the drive also commenced in MGM healthcare in Chennai, where renowned singer SP Balasubrahmanyam took treatment for COVID-19.
In Gujarat, Dr Naveen Thacker, a pediatrician who became the first recipient of vaccine jab and the principal of the government-run SMS Medical College got the first shot of the coronavirus vaccine in Rajasthan.
Commenting on the drive, Dr Harsh Vardhan was quoted saying by Live Mint, "I am very happy and satisfied today. We have been fighting against coronavirus in PM's leadership for the last one year. This vaccine will work as a 'sanjeevani' in the fight against Covid, which has entered the final stage,"
Meanwhile, PM Modi cautioned that even after vaccination, citizens must stay vigilant and maintain all precautions against the virus, including masks and distancing.
More than 224,300 people were vaccinated against the coronavirus disease. However, out of which only 447 reported adverse effects and only three had to be admitted to hospitals, the Union health ministry as quoted by HT on the second day of the nationwide vaccination drive on Sunday.
The health ministry added that 17,072 people received the vaccine on Day 2 of the vaccination drive in six states.
"A total of 447 adverse events following immunization (AEFI) reported so far, of which only three cases required hospitalization," Manohar Agnani, a senior health ministry official, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
On Day 1, Delhi and Rajasthan had reported adverse events following vaccine shots.
The Delhi government had said on Saturday that 52 people who had been administered the Covid-19 vaccine had reported adverse events post-inoculation. Out of these 52, one case was deemed serious by doctors. The other 51 beneficiaries were discharged after they recovered.
While, Telangana also reported 11 cases of adverse events on the first day of the vaccination drive and West Bengal reported 14 such cases on the same day, added the daily.
Moreover, by Sunday evening, a 46-year-old hospital employee died 24 hours after he had received a shot of the Covishield vaccine. Moradabad Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has confirmed the death of a Moradabad hospital employee, identified as Mahipal Singh. The CMO has said Mahipal Singh died due to a heart attack. The reason for Mahipal Singh's death in the postmortem report is a heart attack, the CMO told India Today.