The Covid-19 vaccination drive in India started on Saturday morning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching the world’s biggest roll out. The government called it the beginning of the end of Coronavirus that has claimed over 1 lakh lives, affected businesses, drained the economy, led to the biggest migrant crisis and unprecedented sufferrings since early last year.
PM Modi addressed the nation and urged people to wear masks and maintain social distancing even after taking the first dose of the vaccine as the immunity only develops after the second dose of the vaccine. The experts have said two doses of vaccine are important within a time period of one month, he added.
Inoculation of over 3 crore people will take place in the first phase that includes healthcare experts and frontline corona warriors. The second phase of the vaccination drive, the number will be increased to 30 crores.
Amid rumours of safety concerns and efficacy of the vaccine, Bharat Biotech, which has received a government purchase order for supply of 55 lakh doses of Covaxin, says it will pay compensation to recipients in case of any serious adverse effects experienced after receiving the antidote.
Also, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Serum Institute of India Adar Poonawalla joined the Covid-19 vaccination drive to endorse Covishield’s safety and efficacy by taking the vaccine himself.
There are 3,006 session sites across the country, where 100 beneficiaries each will be given either of India’s two indigenous vaccines, Covishield or Covaxin.
Meanwhile, Resident doctors at Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital demanded they will prefer Serum Institute of India manufactured Covishield vaccine over Bharat Biotech Covaxin since the former has completed all three stages of trials as required under protocol.