Updated: January 21, 2021 7:42:32 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to take the Covid-19 vaccine shot in the second phase of the inoculation drive when it will be administered to those above 50 years of age and people with co-morbidities, sources told The Indian Express on Thursday.
The Prime Ministerkicked off the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination programme via video conferencing Saturday, as he congratulated India and the country’s scientists and researchers for developing two vaccines in such a short span of time. He said the country had been waiting impatiently for this day, adding that this is for the first time in history that a vaccination exercise has been launched on such a massive scale.
During his address, Modi had also allayed fears regarding efficacy of the vaccines and said, “Scientists gave nod to two made-in-India vaccines after being sure of their effects, don’t pay heed to rumours, propaganda.” Indian vaccines enjoy global credibility because of their track record, he further said.
It has been five days since India began vaccination against the novel coronavirus disease. More than 7 lakh people have been given one of the two vaccines approved by the regulator. But several people, including some doctors and other healthcare workers, continue to be hesitant. This has led to concerns over ‘vaccine hesitancy’.
“The vaccination drive will be further accelerated… Whatever doses of vaccine are made available, we will ensure that they reach maximum beneficiaries. This will be done soon,” said Dr V K Paul, who heads the high-level national expert group on vaccination administration.
“In India, the vaccine is being prioritised for health care and frontline workers. However, despite that, if some of them are hesitant to take it, particularly the doctors and nurses, then it is disappointing. We don’t know what turn the pandemic will take; we have to start our non-Covid services… In a few days, India has planned to vaccinate all its health care workers…it is not right to have any confusion…the vaccine hesitancy among the health care workers should end,” he said.
In phase one, which is underway, three crore frontline workers in India will be administered the Covid-19 vaccine. There are 3,006 session sites across the country, where 100 beneficiaries each will be given either of India’s two indigenous vaccines, Covaxin or Covishield. Every beneficiary will need to receive two doses of the same vaccine, 28 days apart.
Since the pandemic hit India in early 2020, over one crore and 6.1 lakh people have been infected with the disease, while close to 1.52 lakh have died. In the last 24 hours, 15,223 new cases of coronavirus infections have been detected, the most in the last one week. Of the total cases, 1.92 lakh cases are currently active. Almost 97 per cent of the infected people have recovered.
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