COVID-19 vaccination drive begins in Delhi; sanitation worker in AIIMS first person to get shot
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged people not to believe in rumours and listen to experts who say COVID-19 vaccines are safe.
Manish Kumar, a sanitation worker, became the first person in the Indian capital to be administered a COVID-19 vaccine during the launch of the nationwide vaccination programme at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the presence of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday.
The vaccination drive is underway in the national capital with healthcare workers, who were at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic. As people around applauded, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria also received a shot of the vaccine followed by NITI Aayog member V K Paul.
Vardhan said the two vaccines -- the indigenous Covaxin from Bharat Biotech and Covishield from the Oxford/AstraZeneca stable -- were a 'sanjivani', life infusing, in the fight against the pandemic. "These vaccines are our 'sanjivini' in our fight against the pandemic. We have won the battle against polio and now we have reached the decisive phase of winning the war against COVID. I want to congratulate all frontline workers on this day," he told reporters shortly after the vaccine shots were administered.
It is a matter of great pride for the entire country that the 2 #COVID19vaccines approved for emergency use in India have been manufactured indigenously.— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 16, 2021
Both COVISHIELD & COVAXIN have proven safety & immunogenicity records.#LargestVaccineDrive @PMOIndia @MoHFW_INDIA pic.twitter.com/PLcnQyozbx
Vardhan also asserted that both the vaccines are safe and effective. "At times when rumours are being spread, I hope the media will spread the correct information and this move will help in the fight against the disease," the Health Minister said, PTI reported.
Thanking all, including doctors, nurses, healthcare staff, security personnel and journalists, who have been at the frontline in the fight against the pandemic, Vardhan said they ensured India reaches the stage where vaccines are delivered to the people.
Speaking to reporters after taking the jab, Paul urged people to "embrace the vaccine". "I believe that this is a great vaccine. I have taken Covaxin. Embrace the vaccine. Both the vaccines that the government has authorised are safe and immunogenic. I request you to please embrace it as in this way you will help your family and your community," he said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also urged people not to believe in rumours and listen to experts who say COVID-19 vaccines are safe.
Kejriwal inspected the COVID-19 vaccination campaign at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital here, interacted with some health workers who received the shot and lauded their contribution in fighting the pandemic. The vaccination drive has started at 81 centres in Delhi, reported PTI.
दिल्ली समेत देशभर में आज से कोरोना वैक्सीन लगने की शुरुआत हो गई है, LNJP अस्पताल के वैक्सीन सेंटर का दौरा कर व्यवस्थाओं का जायज़ा लिया— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 16, 2021
वैक्सीन लेने वालों में उत्साह भी है और खुशी भी, हम सब मिलकर जल्द ही कोरोना को हराएंगे, लेकिन तब तक संक्रमण से बचाव के नियमों का पालन करते रहें। pic.twitter.com/7jAzXKT2n7
"I have interacted with those vaccinated. No one has any problem. All are happy that they will get rid of coronavirus," the Chief Minister said, according to PTI.
He said: "I want to say to all not to pay attention to rumours and misinformation. The experts say vaccines are safe and there is no need to worry." But there is a need to use face masks and maintain social distancing even after receiving the vaccine shots, Kejriwal stressed.