A security guard posted at JP Hospital here said on Friday that he is ‘excited’ to be the first person to get a shot of coronavirus vaccine when the drive kicks off in the Madhya Pradesh capital.
Asserting that the vaccine is “completely safe”, Hari Singh said he had volunteered for the jab to help spread awareness among the people and allay their fears.
The world’s largest inoculation drive would start on Saturday in India, for which initial consignment of the vaccine has already reached Madhya Pradesh.
Reviewing preparations for the drive, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that efforts were on to ensure that a ‘safai karamchari’ is the first to get the vaccine shot on January. “It will be an honour to the services of such sanitation workers who have done good work during the coronavirus crisis,” he added.
Hari is also happy that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with him when he launches the countrywide drive on Saturday.
Hari said that apart from performing his assigned duties, he was also advising patients and their attendants at the hospital to use face masks and maintain social distance norms.
The healthcare and frontline workers who will be inoculated in the first phase of the vaccination drive against Covid-19 starting Saturday will have no option to choose from the two vaccines that have been given emergency use approval, the union health ministry said on Tuesday.
The government has approved two vaccines – Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India, and Covaxin, which has been developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech together with the Indian Council of Medical Research.
The recipients of the vaccine will get a message one day before they are to be administered the vaccine. Officials said that 1 crore registrations have already been completed for the vaccination drive on CO-Win app, the IT platform that has emerged as the backbone of the massive programme set to be rolled out across the country on January 16.
Vaccinations are set to begin on Saturday in an effort that authorities hope will see 30 crore high-risk people inoculated over the next six to eight months. The vaccine will first be given to 1 crore health care workers, followed by two crore frontline workers and 27 crore citizens over the age of 50 and people with co-morbidities.
The government said it expects all states to keep ready all logistics ready for the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine from January 16. There will be continuous oversight and personal involvement on the entire process of roll-out, officials said.
(With inputs from IANS)