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Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh today received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine at a civil hospital in Mohali amid the second phase of nationwide vaccination that has begun on 1 March.

In a tweet, he urged the citizens above 60 years or those above 45 years with co-morbidities to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

"I got my first shot of #Covid19 vaccine today. I urge all above 60 years of age or above 45 years with co-morbidities to get the vaccination done as soon as possible. We all need to come together to defeat #Covid19 and I’m sure we will," Singh said in the tweet.

On Thursday, Punjab Industries and Commerce Minister Sunder Sham Arora took the first jab of COVID-19 vaccine at a government hospital in SAS Nagar, informed the state Information and Public Relations Department.

Punjab is among the six states that contribute to more than 85% of the total Covid-19 cases in the country. The states are Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Karnataka. As of Thursday, Punjab reported 772 new cases.

Earlier in February, Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu has said that healthcare workers and other frontline medical professionals who skip coronavirus vaccination won't get financial help from the state government for treatment if they get infected later and won't be allowed to take quarantine or isolation leave.

The Punjab government has taken serious note of reports that some healthcare professionals are choosing not to get vaccinated, amid rising cases of the killer virus in some states and a low rate of inoculation in Punjab.

Meanwhile, as many as 8,44,884 people who are more than 60 years old and 1,04,263 people aged 45 and above with specific co-morbidities have received their first jab in the second phase of the exercise which began on March 1.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several union ministers and other prominent leaders and personalities are among those who have taken the COVID vaccine in the second phase.

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