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Some vaccinate, others vacillate: 53% of those enrolled turn up in Delhi | India News

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NEW DELHI: The much-awaited vaccination drive against Covid-19 began in the capital on Saturday, with more than 53% of the health workers enrolled for getting the shots turning up at the 81 vaccination centres spread across 11 districts of Delhi.
Officials said 4,319 people were given the vaccine on Day One. The rest of the total 8,117 health workers scheduled to receive the jabs on Saturday did not turn up.
Most of the beneficiaries were staffers working at the hospitals where vaccine centres have been set up. Those scheduled to get the vaccine but could not turn up will not be accommodated on the next day. A decision about all those left out will be taken after a review currently planned at the end of the inoculation drive of all enrolled healthcare workers.
At most centres, the Covishield vaccine was administered while at some central government hospitals Covaxin was given. Some healthcare workers had apprehensions about lack of safety or efficacy of Covaxin — India’s indigenously developed vaccine — but some of these fears subsided after AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria and Dr V K Paul of Niti Aayog (along with his wife), took Covaxin at AIIMS.
Several top doctors from other hospitals, both private and government, took the vaccine on the first day. A majority of those who received the jabs said they felt good and were happy to be inoculated.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and health minister Satyendar Jain inspected the drive at Lok Nayak Hospital and said the Covid vaccines were completely safe and asked people not to heed rumours to the contrary. All the vaccination centres were located in government or private hospitals so that adverse reactions, if any, could be swiftly dealt with.
Kejriwal said the number of centres will be increased over the days and stressed that people should continue wearing masks and practising social distancing even after vaccination. Health minister Satyendar Jain later inspected the drive at Rajiv Gandhi Hospital and after the conclusion of the vaccination drive stated that the drive was concluded successfully on the first day.
After getting the jab, the beneficiaries received a Co-WIN app-generated SMS congratulating them on being vaccinated. They were asked to call the 1075 helpline for any queries and were informed that the vaccination would be complete only after the second dose to be administered after 28 days. The information about the date and time of the second dose will be communicated to the beneficiaries.
At many centres, the beneficiaries were seen waiting for vaccination which started after the conclusion of PM Narendra Modi’s speech marking the launch of the world’s largest vaccination programme. At most of the centres, inoculations started after 11am.
Nursing officer Rampal Gurjar, 35, posted at Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital in East Delhi, who was scheduled to receive the first jab at the vaccination centre said he was excited and confident about its safety. “My family members also encouraged me for it. The vaccination will protect me from the coronavirus,” said Gujjar. He reported to work around 8.30am and continued to make arrangements at the vaccination centre because he has been posted in the vaccination team. When the vaccination drive started at 11am, he rushed to the verification room and after vaccination he again started working.
Although the option for getting a Covid shot wouldn’t be immediately available to the general population, many Delhi residents have mixed feelings about being vaccinated early. While a section says they would want to get the elderly people in their families vaccinated as soon as possible, others point out that they would wait for one or two months so that results of the first phase of the vaccination become clear.

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