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Home >News >India >Covid-19 vaccination in India Day 1: Over 1.9 lakh people inoculated, 3,351 sessions held, says govt

The Union Health Ministry on Saturday evening said that over 1.6 lakh people received the first shots of Covid-19 vaccine today after the country kickstarted its mega vaccination drive against novel coronavirus earlier today.

A total of 16,755 vaccinators were involved in organising COVID-19 vaccination sessions. Total of 1,91,181 beneficiaries vaccinated for COVID19 on day 1 of the massive nationwide vaccination drive, the health ministry said. The earlier number of 1,65,714 was recorded till 5:30 pm today.

"Serum Institute of India produced COVISHIELD was supplied to all States/UTs. Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN was supplied to 12 States. Total 3,351 sessions held across the country with both the vaccines," the ministry's official said.

The government also said that COVID-19 vaccination drive was successful on Day 1. No case of post-vaccination hospitalisation reported so far.

"Since it was the first day of vaccination, a few issues came up- delay in uploading beneficiary list at some session sites and healthcare workers vaccinated though not scheduled for today's session," the government clarified in its press briefing. Resolutions provided for both the issues, it added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the vaccination programme covering the entire length and breadth of the country and urged people to show patience during the COVID-19 immunisation drive as they had shown till now in fighting the pandemic.

Following that, hospital cleaning worker Manish Kumar became the first person in India to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Kumar received his shot at Delhi's premier All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), one of 3,006 vaccination centres established around the country.

AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria and V.K. Paul, a top COVID-19 adviser to Modi, were also given the shots in the presence of Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had earlier this month approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.

The government has already bought 11 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVISHIELD shot, produced by the Serum Institute of India, and 5.5 million of Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN.

COVISHIELD is 72% effective, according to the Indian drug regulator, while Bharat Biotech says COVAXIN's last-stage trial results are expected by March.

While nationalist politicians are cheering COVAXIN, some health experts consider it rushed, as the vaccine has only limited, "clinical-trial mode" approval.

In addition to efficacy concerns, the close monitoring required for its use will be a massive challenge.

According to the government, the shots will be offered first to an estimated one crore healthcare workers and around two crore frontline workers, and then to persons above 50 years of age, followed by persons younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities.

The cost of vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers will be borne by the central government.

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