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India vaccine drive launched

AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria took the coronavirus vaccine. (Photo: PIB)

Big day for India: Vaccine drive launched to eliminate Covid-19

Finally, the D-Day arrived today. The wait is over as Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched vaccine drive in India against the deadly coronavirus which has killed more than 1.5 lakh people in the country. “We are launching the world’s biggest vaccination drive and it shows the world our capability,” PM Modi said. Reiterating his earlier motto – “Dawai bhi, Kadai bhi“, PM Modi reminded people that two doses of vaccine are very important and asked them to continue wearing masks and follow social distancing norms even after receiving the jabs.

During his speech, PM Modi got emotional talking about the hardships faced by healthcare and frontline workers during the pandemic. He also referred to sacrifices made by them, hundreds of whom lost their lives to the viral infection in a choked voice.

“An epoch-making moment for India! Launch of world’s largest vaccine drive by PM Modi across 3006 vaccine centres in India takes us closer to ending this #pandemic Salute the exemplary leadership of our beloved PM enabling our effective tackling of Covid-19,” Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a tweet.

After the speech, Prime Minister tweeted “India begins the world’s #LargestVaccineDrive. This is a day of pride, a celebration of the prowess of our scientists and hard work of our medical fraternity, nursing staff, police personnel and sanitation workers. May everyone be healthy and free from illness.”

India vaccine drive launched: Day 1 vaccination plan

On Day 1, around 100 beneficiaries each will be given the first shots of the two indigenous Covid-19 vaccines — Covishield from the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin — at 3,006 session sites across all states and union territories.

Who all took the shots on the first day?

BJP leader and Gautam Buddh Nagar MP Mahesh Sharma was the first parliamentarians in India to get inoculated for the infection. Earlier in the day, All India Institute of Medical Sciences chief Dr Randeep Guleria took the coronavirus vaccine.

Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla took a shot of the Covishield coronavirus vaccine. “I wish India and Sri Narendra Modi ji great success in launching the world’s largest COVID vaccination roll-out. It brings me great pride that Covishield is part of this historic effort and to endorse its safety and efficacy, I join our health workers in taking the vaccine myself,” he said. Poonawalla also tweeted a video of him receiving the COVID-19 jab.

Who should avoid getting the vaccination?

  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers should not be administered shots.
  • People with a history of anaphylactic or allergic reactions should not be given the jabs.
  • People with an allergy to injectable therapies, pharma products, etc. will not be given vaccine doses.
  • Patients with clotting or coagulation disorder must undertake special precautions.
  • Vaccine specific contraindications (condition or factor that serves as a reason to withhold a certain medical treatment) may apply as new information is available.

Also Read: When, how and who will get Covid vaccines in India?

The vaccination programme, aimed at inoculating 3 crore health and other frontline workers first, will use two ‘Made in India’ vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin. Covishield is manufactured by the Serum Institute, and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech.

Who are the frontline workers

  • Personnel from Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guards
  • Personnel from BSF, CISF, CRPF, ITBP, NSG, SSB, AR
  • Disaster Management volunteers
  • Municipal Workers
  • Civil Defence Organisation
  • Staff Police
  • Prison Staff
  • Revenue officials involved in Covid-19 activities
  • Home Guards

Meanwhile, India’s Covid-19 caseload rose to 1,05,42,841 with 15,158 people testing positive for the infection in a day, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated at 8 am on Saturday.