With 3,000 vaccination sites and a capacity of 100 persons per site, the Centre had planned to vaccinate 300,000 persons nationally on Saturday. Consolidated figures on Sunday show that about 207,000 — or about seven in ten — were inoculated on the inaugural day.
“States/Union Territories were advised to plan COVID vaccination sessions on four days in a week to minimise disruption of Routine Health Services. Today being Sunday only six states conducted vaccination sessions,” Dr Manohar Agnani, Health Ministry Joint Secretary, said.
The government said a majority of states had planned to vaccinate people over four days per week, but Goa and Uttar Pradesh opted for two, Mizoram for five and Andhra Pradesh for six. On Sunday the Health Ministry also said that protocols were in place to respond to AEFIs (adverse events following immunisation). The ministry said the majority of such events were usually mild in nature – some swelling at the injection site, slight nausea or brief allergic reactions to the jab. Additional Secretary (Health), Government of India, Dr Manohar Agnani addressed the media on Sunday along with Joint Secretary Mandeep Bhandari. The top officials in the Union Health Ministry said that states have been asked to plan vaccination sessions against coronavirus four days a week.
Some states have already declared their dates, Dr Agnani added. He also mentioned that Andhra Pradesh has sought permission to carry out vaccination six days a week.
India plans to inoculate 3 crore health workers, municipal workers, sanitation workers, and later on, 27 crore of those most vulnerable to the disease by July. The Health Ministry claimed that the nearly 200,000 vaccinations undertaken on Saturday were the highest “day 1” numbers anywhere in the world, and exceeded that of the United States, France and the United Kingdom on their first days of vaccination.
On Sunday, six states vaccinated more healthcare and frontline workers against Covid-19. A total of 17,072 beneficiaries received the jab in these six states on Day 2 of the mass inoculation exercise. Of all those vaccinated so far, 447 reported reactions such as pain, mild swelling, mild fever or nausea, with only three persons requiring hospitalisation. The drop in hospitalisations compared to the inaugural day on Saturday was because of it being Sunday with only six States — Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Manipur and Tamil Nadu — conducting vaccinations.
However, the Ministry did not share numbers on how many of those who were supposed to be inoculated on Saturday and Sunday actually turned up for their shots. Nor was information shared on how many doses Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, being dispensed in clinical trial mode, and Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, were dispensed. The government has announced that it has stocks of 11 million doses of Covishield and 5.5 million doses of Covaxin.
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