Nearly Two Lakh People Vaccinated In Phase One Of Vaccination Drive

RMLH Doctors Refuse To Take “Covaxin” Dosages

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
I am a mumbai based journalist having worked with many daily newspapers.

INDIA.Mumbai: After Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched India’s vaccination drive, nearly 1,91,000 people received the coronavirus vaccine on the first day of the drive across India, with the largest number of beneficiaries hailing from Uttar Pradesh, while the Union Territory of Lakshadweep recorded the minimum number of beneficiaries on Saturday, January 16, 2021.

During the launch, the PM emphasized that despite the COVID-19 vaccine, no one should take the virus lightly and must continue wearing masks and maintaining social distance. “Dawai Bhi, Kadai Bhi,” (yes to medicine and yes to caution).

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A sanitation worker Manish Kumar became the first recipient of the vaccination drive at AIIMS, New Delhi. Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director AIIMS, and Dr. V.K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog and Chair, National Expert Group of Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) also received vaccination at AIIMS.

On the first day, 1,91,181 beneficiaries were vaccinated in 3,352 sessions. Besides, 3,429 beneficiaries were vaccinated in Defence institutions. Nearly 16,755 personnel were involved in organizing the immunization session sites. 

The break-up of beneficiaries

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The state wise break of the beneficiaries was: A & N Islands (sessions-2)(beneficiaries-225), Andhra Pradesh (sessions-332) (beneficiaries-18412), Arunachal Pradesh(sessions-9) (beneficiaries-829), Assam (sessions-65) (beneficiaries-3528), Bihar (sessions-301) (beneficiaries-18169), Chandigarh (sessions-4) (beneficiaries-265), Chhattisgarh (sessions-97) (beneficiaries-5592), Dadra & Nagar Haveli (Session-1) (beneficiaries-80), Daman & Diu(session-1) (beneficiaries-43), Delhi(sessions-81) (beneficiaries-4319), Goa(sessions 7) (beneficiaries-426), Gujarat(sessions 161) (beneficiaries-10787), Haryana (sessions-77) (beneficiaries-5589), Himachal Pradesh(sessions-28) (beneficiaries-1517), Jammu & Kashmir(sessions-41) (beneficiaries-2044), Jharkhand(sessions-48) (beneficiaries-3096) and Karnataka(sessions-242) (beneficiaries-13594).

Kerala(sessions-133((beneficiaries-8062), Ladakh(sessions-2) (beneficiaries 79),

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Lakshadweep(session-1) (beneficiaries-21), Madhya Pradesh (sessions-150) (beneficiaries-9219), Maharashtra (sessions-285) (beneficiaries-18328), Manipur (sessions-10) (beneficiaries-585), Meghalaya(sessions-10) (beneficiaries-509), Mizoram-(sessions-5) (beneficiaries-561), Nagaland(sessions-9) (beneficiaries-225), Odisha (sessions-161) (beneficiaries-13746), Puducherry (sessions-8) (beneficiaries-274), Punjab(sessions-59) (beneficiaries-1319), Rajasthan(sessions-167) (beneficiaries-9279), Sikkim(sessions-2) (beneficiaries-120), Tamil Nadu (sessions-161) (beneficiaries-2945), Telangana(sessions-140) (beneficiaries-3653), Tripura(sessions-18) (beneficiaries-355), Uttar Pradesh(sessions-317) (beneficiaries-21291), Uttarakhand(34) (beneficiaries-2276), West Bengal(182) (beneficiaries-9730). India (Total sessions-3352) (beneficiaries-191181).

Drive-in Maharashtra

In Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated the vaccination center at Bandra-Kurla Complex in northwest Mumbai in presence of a large number of people on Saturday. He said that the healthcare workers, who are getting the vaccine on the first day of the vaccine drive, were the real heroes of the day and it is because of their efforts, the COVID-19 centers in the city are lying vacant today. However a face mask is the best vaccination and people should continue wearing them, he added. 

The vaccination centers in the state have been reduced to 291 as against 358 centers planned earlier, since the state received only 55.5 percent dosages of its 8 lakh registered beneficiaries. Of 291 centers, the 285 centers will administer “Covishield” (Serum Institute), while 6 centers- JJ hospital, Mumbai, GMC, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Solapur, District Hospitals Pune, and Amravati have been directed to administer “Covaxin” (Bharat Biotech). 7.90 lakh health workers have been registered in phase I. 12,000 people per day will be vaccinated in phase I, while 50,000 people will be vaccinated per day in phase II. January 28 is the deadline for phase II entries.

SII CEO receives “Covishield” shot

On Saturday Adar Poonawalla, the CEO of Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) received the “Covishield” shot and wished PM success in the vaccine drive. “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,” Poonawalla tweeted.

Rangoli greeted beneficiaries

The staff at a hospital in Aundh in Pune made beautiful rangoli at the entrance of the health center where coronavirus vaccination was launched. The blue and white rangolis, with floral patterns and ‘Welcome’ written in the center, were drawn by nurses to welcome the beneficiaries on the launch day.

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Nurses at Government Hospital at Aundh in Pune, draw a Rangoli to welcome people.

Doctors refuse to take “Covaxin” dosages

While the people across the country got themselves vaccinated, the resident doctors of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RMLH), New Delhi refused to take “Covaxin” dosages saying that they were apprehensive about the lack of complete trial in the case of “Covaxin”. In a letter to the Medical Superintendent, RMLH, the doctors claimed that the “Covaxin” manufactured by “Bharat Biotech” is being preferred over “Covishield”, manufactured by SII, in their hospital. “We are apprehensive about the lack of complete trial in case of “Covaxin” and might not participate in huge numbers thus defeating the purpose of vaccination. We request you to vaccinate us with “Covishield” which has completed all stages of trial before its rollout”, they stated.

However, the Health Ministry stated that “Covishield” has been supplied to all states/Union Territories, whereas “Covaxin” has been supplied to 12 states. No case of post-vaccination hospitalization has been reported, so far.

India, which has reported the highest number of coronavirus infections after the United States, plans to vaccinate around 300 million people with two doses in the first six to eight months of the year.

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