Updated: March 2, 2021 7:25:02 am
As the second phase of Covid-19 vaccination saw a nationwide rollout on Monday — for those above 60 years of age and those above 45 with specified co-morbid conditions — around 25 lakh potential beneficiaries registered on the Co-WIN portal on Day 1. According to provisional figures late Monday evening, around 1.46 lakh people from the two priority groups got their first doses of the vaccine.
This is the first time the general population is being vaccinated; in the first phase, 1.43 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines were administered to healthcare and frontline workers.
In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS. Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19. I appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine. Together, let us make India COVID-19 free!”
The Union Health Ministry said that of the 25 lakh potential beneficiaries who registered on the Co-WIN portal on Day 1, 24.5 lakh are those from among the two priority groups in the general population, and the rest are healthcare and frontline workers. “About 6.44 lakh appointments (from among those who registered) were booked today by the citizen beneficiaries,” the Ministry said.
The Ministry added that 1.28 lakh beneficiaries above 60 years and 18,850 beneficiaries aged 45 and above received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Monday.
The option of self-registration was opened up for beneficiaries on the Co-WIN website and app, and the Aarogya Setu app. Several vaccination centres also offered a walk-in facility for beneficiaries.
According to the Health Ministry, 4,27,072 vaccine doses were given till 7 pm Monday. “Out of which, 3,25,485 beneficiaries were vaccinated for the first dose and 1,01,587 healthcare workers received their second dose of vaccine as per the provisional report. Final reports will be completed for the day by late tonight,” the Ministry said.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the Prime Minister receiving the shot on the first day sends a clear message to end vaccine hesitancy among the general population.
“The Prime Minister has always told us that ‘you have to lead by example’. We have opened the vaccination for citizens above the age of 60 years, and Prime Minister was the first to take the vaccine in the country. He took the Indian-made vaccine Covaxin. He has given a clear message to the country that there should be no rumours and misinformation on these vaccines; and that vaccine hesitancy should be buried once for all,” Harsh Vardhan said.
Besides the Prime Minister, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu also received his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. “I took my first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Government Medical College, Chennai, today. I will be taking the 2nd dose after 28 days. I appeal to all the eligible people to get themselves vaccinated proactively and join in the fight against novel coronavirus,” Naidu said in a tweet.
Among the Union ministers who received their first shots on Monday were Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Minister of State (PMO) Jitendra Singh and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Parkash. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also received their first doses of the vaccine.
On Monday, Adar Poonawala, CEO of the Pune-based Serum Institute of India, said in a tweet, “Great to see Shri @narendramodi Ji leading from the front & getting vaccinated. In the interest of protecting our nation, I would urge the public to get vaccinated at the earliest, whether it be @SerumInstIndia’s vaccines or any of the other vaccines being developed in India.”
On the 45th day of the nationwide COVID19 vaccination, the official data states that a total of 1.47 crore vaccine doses have been administered. “These include 66,95,665 HCWs [healthcare workers] who have taken the 1st dose and 25,57,837 HCWs who have taken the 2nd dose, 53,27,587 frontline workers (1st dose), 1,28,630 beneficiaries more than 60 years old and 18,850 beneficiaries aged 45 and above with specific co-morbidities,” the Ministry said.
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