Over 1.91 lakh healthcare and sanitary workers at the frontline of India's COVID-19 battle got their first jabs on Saturday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out the world's largest vaccination drive against the pandemic, showing the light at the end of a 10-month tunnel that upended millions of lives.
Serum Institute of India produced COVISHIELD was supplied to all States/UTs, informed the Union Health Ministry on Day 1 of the drive. Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN was supplied to 12 States, the Ministry added.
So far total of 3,351 sessions were held across the country with both the vaccines.
The Ministry informed that the COVID19 vaccination drive was successful on Day 1 and no case of post-vaccination hospitalisation has been reported so far.
Meanwhile, Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Union Health Minister expressed concerns over rumours about the vaccine's safety floating around as the vaccination drive begun. "There's a small section that is spreading rumours about vaccines, their utility, their safety, to mislead the people in society. But such a large number of people received vaccines today with great joy & enthusiasm, eminent doctors received the vaccine," he said.
He said, "A debate has started that why are Health Ministers or people's representatives not taking vaccine. I was asked that why am I not taking vaccine? I told them that I'll wait for my turn, which will come when people above 50 years of age will be administered vaccine."
"If people's representatives would have taken the vaccine first, then people would have said that these leaders have protected themselves first of all. So, we should not get worried about such discussions," he added.