Tribune News Service
New Delhi/Chandigarh, Jan 16
A sanitation worker from AIIMS-New Delhi today became the first Indian to get the Covid-19 vaccine shot moments after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the world’s largest inoculation drive following an emotional address.
As many as 1,91,181 health workers were vaccinated by 16,755 personnel at 3,351 sites across the country. The mammoth exercise that seeks to cover 30 crore at-risk people by July. The inoculation coverage on the opening day was 63.7 per cent of the three lakh target beneficiaries. Delays in uploading beneficiary lists and non-scheduled vaccinations were the operational challenges reported today, said the government, assuring these would be fixed. Delhi reported 52 adverse events, including one serious, while Haryana reported 13.
Will compensate for side-effects: Biotech
Bharat Biotech, the developer of Covaxin, said on Saturday that it would compensate those who report serious side-effects after receiving the shot. The vaccine recipients, including all health staffers at AIIMS, Delhi, signed a consent form that specified the compensation for a “serious adverse event” would be paid by Bharat Biotech. TNS
The drive evoked a lukewarm response in Punjab with only 21.97 per cent of the targeted frontline workers (1,286 out of 5,853) taking the shot. State Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said they expected a better response in the coming days. In Haryana, the inoculation rate stood at 78.4 per cent — 5,907 of 7,533 healthcare workers. The count stood at 61.46 per cent in Himachal Pradesh, with 1,536 of the targeted 2,499 being vaccinated.
UN warns against ‘vaccinationalism’
United Nations: As the world Covid toll crossed 2 million, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the pandemic’s impact had worsened due to lack of a global coordinated effort. He said “vaccinationalism” by governments would delay a global recovery. PTI
Manish Kumar, the first Indian to be inoculated (with Covaxin) at AIIMS, said there was nothing to be scared of.
Three hours after he got the shot, he said he was feeling fine. “The vaccine delivery was painless and there were no side-effects or breathing troubles,” he said.
Dr Reddy’s gets nod for Sputnik Ph-3 trial
AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria and NITI Aayog Member (Health) VK Paul took the Covaxin shot after Manish and urged everyone to “embrace the vaccine.”
Security guards to Serum Institute chief Adar Poonawala, several Indians took the Covid vaccine, boosting public confidence and saying the vaccine was the only hope against Covid and for economic recovery.
30 crore at-risk people to be covered by July | Haryana reports 13 adverse events | Delhi 52, including one serious
In an isolated case, resident doctors at RML, a central government hospital, voiced concerns about Covaxin saying they wanted Covishield.
Eleven states (Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and UP) received both Covaxin and Covishield stocks and had the freedom to allocate vaccines across sites.
The rest of the states, including Punjab, HP, J&K, Ladakh, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh, received only Covishield. Earlier today, the PM was teary eyed remembering the previous year when mothers were separated from children and families could not perform last rites of the deceased as Covid played havoc with lives.
“These vaccines will give us a decisive victory in our fight against Covid,” the PM said, hailing Indian scientists as “saints” and terming the Indian resolve against the virus as one of confidence and self-reliance.