Written by Hamza Khan, Shaju Philip, Gargi Verma, Tabassum Barnagarwala, Abhishek Saha, Bashaarat Masood
A year into a pandemic that upended lives and livelihoods, an entire nation saw the first signs of hope as frontline workers signed up for the inaugural session of a nationwide vaccination programme against Covid-19. The Sunday Express meets some of the first recipients of the Covaxin and Covishield vaccines — from a health officer in a remote Arunachal district to a community worker in Naxal-hit Dantewada
As many as 1.91 lakh beneficiaries comprising healthcare and frontline workers were inoculated on Saturday, as India rolled out the world’s largest vaccination drive against the Covid-19 pandemic that has killed more than 1.5 lakh people and upended millions of lives in the country.
According to the Union Home Ministry, a total of 16,755 personnel were involved in organising 3,351 vaccination sessions across the country. The 11 states and union territories where both Covishield and Covaxin were administered were Assam (65 sessions), Bihar (301), Delhi (81), Haryana (77), Karnataka (242), Maharashtra (285), Odisha (161), Rajasthan (167) Tamil Nadu (160), Telangana (14) and Uttar Pradesh (317).
Rolling out the inoculation drive, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the emergency use authorisation was given to the two ‘Made in India’ vaccines only after scientists were convinced of their safety and effectiveness. The vaccines will ensure a decisive victory for the country over the coronavirus pandemic, he said.