The nation-wide COVID-19 vaccination drive was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday. The Prime Minister urged the vaccine recipients not to drop out and said that the dosage must be completed. "Remember, these vaccines comprise two shots. And taking both the shots is necessary. It will also take some time after the second shot to show some effects," he said. The Prime Minister also asked people to follow COVID-19 safety protocols even if they have been administered the vaccine.
In the first phase of the vaccination drive over 3 crores frontline healthcare workers are expected to be given the vaccine. They will receive either Covaxin or Covishield COVID-19 vaccines which were approved for emergency use earlier by the country's drug regulators. Bharat Biotech's Covaxin vaccine is the first indigenously developed vaccine. Covishield vaccine has been developed by Oxford University in collaboration with pharma giant AstraZeneca. The Covishield vaccine is being produced by Serum Institute of India (SII).
Several healthcare workers across the country have already received the vaccine dose with many more to do so later in the day. After the launch of the vaccination drive, AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria, a sanitation worker, a healthcare worker were the first people who received the vaccine as part of the program. Around 8,100 people are expected to receive the vaccine in Delhi at 81 centres.
While in Maharashtra, the vaccination drive is taking place at 285 centres and 100 healthcare workers are expected to be vaccinated per day. In UP, 102 healthcare workers are expected to receive the vaccine today.
Here are some pics of the COVID-19 vaccination drive taking place in several centres across the country: