(Eds: adding details) Hyderabad, Jan 16 (PTI) Amid cheers, a woman sanitation worker received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a state run hospital here as the exercise was launched in Telangana on Saturday, with about 4,000 health care personnel receiving it and no severe reaction reported from any part of the state.
Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy and Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender formally launched the vaccination programme at the Gandhi Government Hospital here.
S Krishnamma, a woman sanitation worker, was administered the first shot amid cheers by those present at the Gandhi Hospital after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation on the occasion of the vaccine roll out concluded.
She told media persons that she went ahead with receiving the vaccine shot first, though some of her family members wanted her to get inoculated later, to instill confidence to her colleagues who had apprehensions about the vaccine.
The woman said she did not have any health complaints after taking the vaccine and appealed to all to receive the vaccine with courage in order to protect one's health.
State Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao said the vaccination programme was started at 140 out of the 1,213 sites in the state.
While the target was to vaccinate 4,296 people on Saturday, it was administered to 3,962 people, official sources said.
Rao said only 11 mild 'AEFI' cases were reported with complaints like pain, giddiness and sweating, which are common in any vaccination programme.
No severe reaction had been reported anywhere in the state, he said.
Some healthcare personnel refused to take the vaccine on the first day, but efforts were on to convince them, Rao said.
Only Covishield vaccine (of the Serum Institute) was used on Saturday, he said.
Rajender, who attended a video conference with Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, said 140 centres have been set up in the state to administer the vaccine.
The state government realised 90 per cent of the target in the inoculation programme, an official release quoted Rajender as saying.
Saying that the software used for the vaccination drive did not work in some centres, Rajender urged the Union Health Minister to further simplify the software, it said.
Rajender also sought more vaccine doses.
The vaccination campaign also began simultaneously at various other locations in the state where state ministers and other public representatives were present.
Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, a medical doctor, visited the state-run Nizam''s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in the city.
'Nizam institute medical science Hyderabad to greet the Recepients of vaccines on the Historic vaccine launch today.
It is a THANKS giving day to all Drs nurses para medics & sanitary workers who served covid patients.
Visionary @PMOIndia who stood with scientists efforts always,' she tweeted.
B Vinod Kumar, vice chairman of state planning board, attended the event at Vangara in Warangal Urban district, the native village of former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao.
Several healthcare workers and others, who received the vaccine at different places in the state, told reporters that they did not experience any health issues.
The state government has invited public representatives, from village 'sarpanches' to ministers, to participate in the programme to spread awareness among people about the exercise.
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