The Indian vaccine will work as ‘sanjeevani’ in the fight against COVID-19, said Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Saturday.
The Minister joined the doctors and potential vaccine beneficiaries at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, to witness the launch of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination, where a sanitation worker becomes the first person to receive the vaccine.
Addressing the media he said that misinformation is being spread about the vaccines and urged the media to help in dispelling the rumours.
“I am very happy and satisfied today. We have been fighting against COVID-19 under Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s leadership for the last one year. With help of doctors and scientists, we have an Indian vaccine now, this vaccine will work as a ‘sanjeevani’ in the fight against COVID-19, which has entered the final stage,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.
He later held up a dose of COVAXIN developed by Bharat Biotech to the media.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched India’s vaccination drive against the novel coronavirus via video conferencing.
A total of 3,006 session sites across all States and Union Territories will be virtually connected during the launch. Around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each session site on the inaugural day.
Billed as the world’s largest vaccination program, covering the entire length and breadth of the country, the drive aims to first inoculate millions of its healthcare and frontline workers and reach an estimated 3 crore people by the end of its first phase.
Meanwhile, Chief Ministers of several states attended the launch of the vaccination drive at government hospitals in their respective states.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy attended the launch of the COVID-19 vaccination programme at Government General Hospital, Vijayawada, while Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan attended the inaugural event at Gandhi Hospital in Bhopal.
The drugs regulatory body of India has currently approved two vaccines. Pune-based Serum Institute of India has developed the Covishield vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University while the Covaxin has been developed by Hyderabad‘s Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Medical Council of research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology.
According to the Union Health Ministry, the full initial procurement amount of 1.65 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines against Covid-19 have been allocated to all States/UTs in the proportion of Health Care Workers database.
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