Uttar Pradesh on Satruday joined the Covid vaccination marathon by inoculating nearly 21,000 health workers and doctors, including more than 800 in Lucknow, on Day One of the mega pan India drive.
A total of 317 vaccination centres were set up across the 75 districts of UP, according to health minister Jai Pratap Singh here. More than a million Covaxin and Covishield doses had already arrived in the state thus far.
The immunisation drive started soon after the address to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi this morning.
In Lucknow, 12 vaccination centres comprised King George’s Medical University (KGMU), Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS), Balrampur Hospital, Veerangana Avantibai Hospital, Era’s Medical College, Sahara Hospital, Medanta Hospital and TS Mishra Medical College, apart from two community health centres on the city outskirts.
Amar Bahadur, a junior assistant at the KGMU, which is among the largest medical varsities in Asia, was the first person to be inoculated at the KGMU centre in the ‘City of Nawabs’.
“I felt no fear or nervousness about the vaccine. The vaccination will drive away the fear of Covid-19 among the people…it will definitely subdue the pandemic,” Bahadur said after coming out of the post-vaccination observation chamber at the KGMU.
His Covid vaccination card mentioned the second dose would be administered to him after 28 days on February 15, 2021.
To instil confidence among the health workers, the heads of the medical institutions and hospitals were among the first persons to be administered the jab. This included Prof Suryakant, Head of Department of Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, KGMU.
“I am a living example of the Covid vaccine being completely safe for administration to the people,” he affably told newspersons while nursing his jabbed arm at the KGMU centre
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the Balrampur Hospital for taking stock of the vaccination campaign. He thanked Modi for his leadership during the challenging times and also complimented the scientists for developing the vaccine.
However, he cautioned against the naysayers and those allegedly spreading canards about the vaccination drive. “We have to remember that when the country was fighting a decisive battle against Covid, the vested interests were still indulging in their misinformation campaign.”
The CM claimed the two indigenous Covid vaccines were the cheapest in the world yet among the most successful ones.
“These vaccines have set an important benchmark for us, and will take forward the ‘Made in India’ theme propagated by the Prime Minister,” he added while advising people to practice Covid protocols and patiently wait for their turns for the vaccination.
In the past weeks, the state had conducted three dry runs of Covid vaccination across UP to ensure the actual rollout was without any glitches.
On Friday, the vials of Covid vaccines were transported from the designated storeroom in Aishbagh area here to the cold chain points in the vicinity of the 12 vaccination centres in Lucknow.
In Lucknow, the authorities have estimated to vaccinate 18,000 people daily in the coming days when all the 60 vaccination centres become operational in due course.
The reports of successful vaccination drive also emerged from other major cities in Uttar Pradesh, including Noida, Prayagraj (Allahabad), Varanasi, Agra, Kanpur etc.