Coronavirus Vaccine India LIVE updates: Gujarat authorities said day one of the COVID-19 inoculation drive went smoothly in the state with around 10,500 healthcare workers — against expected 16,000 — receiving the vaccine dose

Coronavirus Vaccine India LATEST Updates: Day one of the COVID-19 inoculation drive went smoothly in Gujarat on Saturday with around 10,500 healthcare workers — against expected 16,000 — receiving the vaccine dose. “Reports are coming in from different centres, and it has been good everywhere, without any problem,” said Dr Nayan Jani, state immunization officer.

Over 16,000 persons were scheduled to receive the jab during the day, but some beneficiaries did not turn up, he said. The drive was conducted at 161 centres.

The number of people who have tested positive for the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the country has climbed to 116, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday. “The total number of persons found infected with the new UK variant genome is 116,” the ministry said.

All these people have been kept in single-room isolation in designated healthcare facilities by respective state governments, the ministry earlier had said.

“Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine. Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on,” the ministry said.

The Union health ministry held a press conference at the end of day one of the countrywide vaccination drive and said that no case of post-vaccination hospitalisation was reported till 7 pm on Saturday.

The Health Ministry said that provisional data on Saturday evening showed that 1,65,714 beneficiaries were vaccinated at 3,351 sites across the country on the first day of the COVID-19 vaccination drive. In a press briefing, Additional Health Secretary M Agnani added that 16,755 personnel were involved in the drive.

The number of people who have tested positive for the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the country has climbed to 116, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday. “The total number of persons found infected with the new UK variant genome is 116,” the ministry said.

All these people have been kept in single-room isolation in designated healthcare facilities by respective state governments, the ministry earlier had said.

“Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine. Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on,” the ministry said.

Bharat Biotech, which has received a government purchase order for supply of 55 lakh doses of Covaxin, a COVID-19 vaccine, said the company will pay compensation to recipients in case of any serious adverse effects experienced after receiving the antidote.

A consent form to be signed by the vaccine recipients said, “In case of any adverse events or serious adverse events, you will be provided medically recognised standard of care in the government designated and authorised centres and hospitals.”

“The compensation for serious adverse event will be paid by sponsor (BBIL) in case if the SAE is proven to be causally related to the vaccine,” the form said.

The Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) of the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi requested the medical superintendent to vaccinate them with the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine Covishield.

In a letter to the medical superintendent, the association said the resident doctors were “a bit apprehensive” about Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and might not participate in the immunisation drive in large numbers, thus defeating the purpose of the exercise which began in the country on Saturday.

“We have come to know that the COVID-19 vaccination drive is being conducted by the hospital today. Covaxin manufactured by Bharat Biotech is being preferred in our hospital over Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute.The residents are a bit apprehensive about the lack of complete trial in case of Covaxin and might not participate in huge numbers thus defeating the purpose of vaccination. We request you to vaccinate us with Covishield which has completed all stages of trial before its roll-out,” the letter stated.

Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said the state has received 10 lakh vaccine doses, or 60 percent of the stock allotted to it, so far and the remaining doses will be available in the next 10 days.

Speaking to reporters after attending the vaccination drive in Jalna, Tope said at least 8 lakh health workers have registered for this programme, and for this, the state needs 7.5 lakh additional doses of the vaccine.

“Although the state has received 60 percent to the vaccine stock it needs, the remaining consignment will be made available in the next 10 days,” the minister said. “Maharashtra needs 17.50 lakh doses of the coronavirus vaccine, as 8 lakh health workers have registered for the programme on CoWIN application. We have received 10 lakh doses and we still need 7.5 lakh more.”

Union health minister Harsh Vardhan responded to Congress leader Manish Tewari’s quote questioning why politicians and government functionaries were not getting vaccinated as per the procedure in other countries. Vardhan slammed Tewari saying that he and the Congress are “passionate about spreading rumours”.

In response, Tewari cautioned the government not to “hide behind vaccine nationalism”.

In a series of tweets on Saturday, Union home minister Amit Shah lauded scientists and ‘ COVID-19 warriors’ and said, “India is one of the few countries which has won the direction to end the biggest crisis against humanity.”

“This ‘Made in India’ vaccine represents the determination of self-reliant India. On this historic day, I bow to all our Corona warriors,” he added.

Serum Institute of India chief Adar Poonawalla took a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine Covishield.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said experts have said the vaccine against COVID-19 is safe and people should not pay heed to rumours.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging for free vaccines for the lower income groups.

Following the launch of a nationwide vaccination drive, health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said the vaccine will work as ‘sanjeevani’ against COVID-19 .

The first dose of the coronavirus vaccine was administered to a sanitation worker at AIIMS Delhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said vaccines available in India are much cheaper than options in other countries, adding that they don’t need to be stored in extremely low temperatures.

Stating that the work on other vaccines is progessing at a fast pace, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the development and launch of two Made In India vaccines in a short span of time.

A total of 3,006 session sites across all states and Union territories will be virtually connected during the launch at 10.30 am by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each session site.

A day before a massive countrywide vaccination drive against coronavirus is set to commence, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday said the step is “probably the beginning of the end” of COVID-19 .

Speaking at the 146th India Meteorological Department (IMD) foundation day, he, however, cautioned that even if the vaccination drive is on, there should not be lowering of guard and people must follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.

“Tomorrow is an important day…it is the last phase of the battle against coronavirus . I say, this is probably the beginning of the end of COVID now which is going to start tomorrow,” Vardhan, who is also Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Minister, said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive on 16 January via video conferencing.

This will be the world’s largest vaccination programme covering the entire length and breadth of the country and all preparations are in place to initiate the programme.

The vaccination programme is based on principles of priority groups to be vaccinated first. Healthcare workers, both in the government and private sectors, including Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) workers, will receive the vaccine during this phase.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had earlier this month approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive.

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