- PM Modi launched India’s vaccination drive on January 16 at 10.30 AM
- Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan joined vaccine beneficiaries
- I am very happy & satisfied today: Dr Vardhan on the launch of vaccination
New Delhi: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan joined doctors and potential vaccine beneficiaries at AIIMS hospital in Delhi and participated in the virtual launch of India’s coronavirus vaccination drive kicked off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today at 10.30 AM. The vaccination drive which according to the government is the world’s largest vaccination programme was launched across over 3,000 (3,006) vaccine centres in India. The vaccination drive will use ‘Covishield’ vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, manufactured in India at Serum Institute in Pune and ‘Covaxin’ by Bharat Biotech and Indian Council of Medical Research. Both the COVID-19 vaccines have been given restricted emergency use. Sharing more details of the vaccination programme on social media, Dr Harsh Vardhan, wrote, “It was an honour for me to join our courageous Corona Warriors at AIIMS, Delhi on this momentous occasion. As a fitting tribute to their selfless service, our healthcare workers and frontline workers will be the first to be inoculated COVID-19 vaccine.”
It was an honour for me to join our courageous Corona Warriors at AIIMS, Delhi on this momentous occasion.
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 16, 2021
Manish Kumar, a healthcare worker at Delhi’s AIIMS, became the first to get the shot of Coronavirus vaccine in the presence of Dr Vardhan. After receiving the vaccine, Mr Kumar told ANI, a new agency,
I had a very nice experience. I was not reluctant to get the vaccine shot…people need not be worried. Now I don’t have any doubts regarding the vaccine. Everyone must get inoculated.
Following this, nursing officer Dhawal Dwivedi, AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria and Dr VK Paul, NITI Aayog member and Chairperson of National Expert Committee on Vaccine Administration received COVID-19 vaccine jab.
Addressing the media from AIIMS, Delhi, Dr Vardhan said,
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 the help of doctors and scientists, we have an Indian vaccine now. This vaccine will work as a ‘sanjeevani’ in the fight against COVID-19.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan shows a dose of COVAXIN developed by Bharat Biotech at AIIMS, Delhi as the first phase of vaccination begins across the country. pic.twitter.com/QQP3p6CNdV
— ANI (@ANI) January 16, 2021
In another media briefing, Dr Vardhan called the launch of vaccination programme as moment that will make India victorious against COVID-19. He said,
I would say that the fight against COVID-19 is already on its road to victory and this vaccine will be remembered like a ‘sanjeevani’ to ultimately get us that clinching victory over COVID.
Further talking about India’s vaccination drive, Dr Vardhan informed that the country has been working and planning for it for the last five months. He added,
For us, this is probably the biggest immunisation campaign against COVID anywhere in the whole world. India has tremendous experience in handling such issues. You know we have already eradicated smallpox in such a big country. We have already eradicated polio where we were home to 60 per cent of the polio cases in the whole world. We have a very robust Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) where we give a vaccine to almost 60 crore children every year. And we also, have one of the biggest immunisation campaigns against measles and rubella. And today also, we have the finest structure in place for which we had been working and planning for the last five months continuously.
— NDTV (@ndtv) January 16, 2021
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.