The first phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive began in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, with around 35 per cent of the health workers on the vaccination list for the first day missing their doses.
The state health department vaccinated 21,291 health workers at 317 centres. Among those inoculated were senior health officials such Director General (Medical Health) Devendra Singh Negi, Director General (Family Welfare) Rakesh Dubey, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGI) Director RK Dhiman and Medanta Lucknow Director Rakesh Kapoor.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited different hospitals here to inspect the process. Of the 317 centres, 306 places administered the Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine while the others gave doses of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
“The day is one of excitement for the entire country…We have previously conducted three successful phases of dry run in the state. I was present at different places during these phases. India is the first country which has successfully launched two vaccines against the virus. I thank PM Modi for this achievement of the country and congratulate the scientists of the country. But along with this, when the country is going towards final victory against corona, some selfish elements are spreading rumours, and we need to be cautious about them,” Adityanth said.
He added that there would be no favouritism, and everyone would have to wait for their turn to get the vaccine.
Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad told reporters, “We are compiling the final number of persons vaccinated on the first day, but the primary assessment that it has crossed 20,000 out of 31,700 planned. As far as why the number is not what we planned, it is hard to comment on that as of now. If people did not show up, they might come later. There is a possibility that some of them were not in the city or got busy somewhere else. But still, the number we have is pretty significant, and around 65 per cent of those listed coming on day one shows that the doubts people were raising were baseless. With the response we got, without any untoward incident reported, all doubts must have cleared.”
Asked if the government would be able to achieve its target of inoculating nine lakh health workers in three days, he said that was the initial plan but might be revised based on feedback. Prasad said it would take more time to vaccinate so many people.
The health secretary said till 3.30 pm 13,419 doctors and health workers had received their doses. The second and final dose for those who received the first shot on Saturday will be administered on February 15.
In Gautam Budh Nagar district (Noida), vaccine centres have been set up at Sharda Hospital, GIIMS hospital, Child Hospital in Sector 30, Kailash Hospital in Sector 27, and the two Community Health Centres at Bisrakh and Bhangel. The district administration has received 28,840 doses of Covishield for the initial phase.
MP Dr Mahesh Sharma became the first politician to be administered the vaccine. He was inoculated in Kailash hospital around 11 am. District administration and health department officials marked the beginning of the vaccination drive from the Sector 30 hospital.
“This is a historic day for the health department and doctors. We are proud of the efforts, and this vaccine is a testament to the hard work. The administration is fully prepared. More people will be vaccinated in the coming period,” said Gautam Buddh Nagar District Magistrate Suhas LY.
Hours after the vaccines were administered, patients reported no side effects and were sent home after an hour in the observation room. However, general apprehension about the efficacy of the vaccines remained.
“There is no doubt a sense of fear whether the vaccine will work or not. Some people were a little cagey on getting it the first day. Even I felt unsure for some time. But there is no impact after taking the shot. It feels like a normal injection. The next one will take place after 28 days,” said Dr Megha (30), who was among those inoculated.
Meanwhile, a 48-year-old pharmacist in Kanpur fell unconscious after being injected with the vaccine at the Ursala Hospital, which is the district women hospital. According to officials, the woman, identified as Shashi Prabha, suffers from anxiety and hypertension. Her anxiety level increased while she was receiving the shot, causing her to fall unconscious.
Shashi Prabha told reporters that everything went dark after she received the dose and she became unconscious. She said she felt fine around half an hour later after receiving some medication.
“The pharmacist is a patient of anxiety and hypertension. The thing with anxiety patients is that their anxiety level increases in such cases. After she fell unconscious, she was attended by doctors and after some primary medication, she started feeling better. It was not a case of adverse effects of the vaccine. After keeping her under observation for some time we sent her home. She is in a perfectly fine condition now,” said Kanpur Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Anil Kumar Mishra, who also got vaccinated.
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