January 31, 2021 11:13:46 pm
AS MANY as 71,534 frontline workers, including senior officials across departments were vaccinated at 752 centres on the first day of second phase of Covid-19 vaccination drive in the state on Sunday. The total number of persons vaccinated, so far in Gujarat stands at 3,17,464 till Sunday 8 pm.
Three municipal commissioners, 19 district collectors, 11 district development officers, Director General of Police Ashish Bhatia and 23 superintendent of police were among those vaccinated, according to the state health department.
All these senior officials shared the common message of the vaccination being safe without any side-effects and how this is the essential weapon against coronavirus.
On Sunday, for the first time since the virus outbreak in the state nine months ago, no Covid death was reported in the state as cases continue to decline with 316 fresh cases.
In Ahmedabad city, at 39 sites, 5,875 front line warriors, including 5,875 women, were vaccinated. These include deputy municipal commissioners and other senior officials of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). Municipal Commissioner Mukesh Kumar told The Indian Express that he would take the jab on Monday.
“Being Sunday, the second phase of Covid vaccination for frontline warriors, mostly government employees, was chosen. Though the focus will be more on the polio programme that is on from Sunday to Tuesday, frontline warriors, too, are to be vaccinated,” said state immunisation officer, Dr NP Jani.
In Ahmedabad, District Collector Sandeep Sagle, District Development Officer Arun Mahesh Babu, City Police Commissioner Sanjay Srivastava and District Superintendent of Police Virendra Yadav got vaccinated at Ahmedabd Civil Hospital, Asarwa.
Pointing out that top officials have set an example, Sagle said, “All corona warriors should join the vaccination campaign.”
Arun Mahesh Babu said that a three-day vaccination campaign will be held in the district for which 16 sites have been identified. Ahmedabad rural police personnel, panchayat, revenue department employees as well as municipal staff will be vaccinated at these sites, he said.
Saying that the vaccine is “completely safe”, Police Commissioner Sanjay Srivastava said, “I have no side-effects after taking the first dose.” The vaccine is an essential weapon in the fight against corona, he said, adding that “in the next three days, we will try to protect as many policemen as possible”.
Senior police officers across the state, including the police commissioners of four metropolitan cities Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Vadodara and Surat, took the vaccine on Sunday.
A total of 1.25 lakh personnel from police, Home Guard, Gram Rakshak Dal (GRD) and jail department will be vaccinated in the coming days.
A statement released from the office of DGP Bhatia read, “The process of vaccination for police personnel started today and will be completed in 4-5 days… We will ensure that no police personnel are left out of the drive and to instill confidence, senior police officials in each district will take the vaccine on the first day. Instructions have been given to ensure that police personnel take adequate rest after the vaccination(sic).”
In Rajkot, district collector Remya Mohan, municipal commissioner Udit Agrawal and city police commissioner Manoj Agarwal were among those vaccinated on Sunday.
While the district collector and the police commissioner got themselves vaccinated at vaccination sessions conducted on the premises of state government-run PDU Hospital, Agrawal got the shot at the headquarters of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC).
The officials said that they were feeling normal and appealed to others to get themselves vaccinated. “While we have not issued any instructions to our staff to get the vaccine, we have advised them to get a shot for their own good and for the good of their families,” Mohan told The Indian Express.
Municipal commissioner Agrawal said, “Today, we have organised vaccination sessions at 45 places for the frontline corona warriors comprising staff of the RMC, city police and revenue department. In all, we have identified 11,500 such warriors to be covered in the second phase of the vaccination.”
Officers of the health department of the RMC said that their target was to vaccinate 4,500 on Sunday. “Against this target, we could vaccinate 3,269 people. This is around 73 per cent success. There has been no report of any adverse affect post-vaccination,” Dr Lalit Vanja, municipal officer of health, RMC, said.
Dr Vanja said that RMC employees accounted for around 55 per cent of those vaccinated on Sunday while city police and revenue department staff made up the remaining 45 per cent.
Early in the morning, the municipal commissioner also launched the mass immunisation drive against polio.
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