An enthusiastic Asha Pawar, the first person to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in Indore, arrived at the centre with nine of her family members including her daughter and son-in-law who journeyed about 200 km overnight to reach the site.
The Covid-19 immunisation drive began Saturday at a total of 3,006 vaccination centres across the country including five in Indore.
"Initial days of the Covid-19 outbreak were terrifying but now I am feeling relaxed," said Pawar, a grade IV employee, after she was administered the dose. Post vaccination, she was kept under 30-minute mandatory medical observation, and was then allowed to leave.
"When I was informed at night that my mother-in-law was getting the first Covid-19 shot, I immediately decided to leave for Indore from Sehore with wife and kids," said Pawar’s son-in-law Chetan.
Indore Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) Dr Purnima Gadariya, who was also administered the vaccine shot, said she felt absolutely fine. A sanitation worker in Jabalpur, Baisakhu Pangrah, was also administered the shot.
Several other towns and cities in Madhya Pradesh including Bhopal witnessed a festive atmosphere in view of the massive vaccination drive. Physicians and health workers in Gwalior danced to celebrate the occasion.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was present at Bhopal's Hamidia hospital to witness the vaccination drive where hospital ward boy Sanjay Yadav was the first person the receive the shot. Nearly 1,200 frontline workers were administered vaccine shots at a dozen centres in the city.
"Modi hai to mumkin hai," said Chouhan hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the vaccination drive. He told the public that two doses of the vaccine will be administered to the beneficiaries and antibodies will be generated in the body 14 days after the second shot. He also urged beneficiaries to practice caution for a period of 42 days and asked all political and non-political organisations not to spread confusion over the vaccines.
Expressing his wish to volunteer in the vaccination drive, Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh urged the Centre to clarify its stand on emergency approval assigned to Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield.
In the first phase of the drive, around 57,000 health workers will be vaccinated at 150 sites four days a week in the state. During the second phase, from January 23 to 30, around 50,000 health workers from Central and private services will be offered the shots, and the remaining 55,000 government and private health workers will be immunised from January 31 to Febuary 6 in the third phase of the drive.
The mop-up phase, from Febuary 7 to 13, will cover those health workers who missed the vaccine shots during the previous phases.
State-level helpline 1075 and district-level helpline 104 have been assigned the task of monitoring the drive and addressing consumer grievances.
Phase 1 of the drive will cover four lakh health workers across the country including those from aganwadis and private sector while there are equal numbers of frontline workers including staffers defence ministry, home ministry, Women and Child Development department, police and revenue department employees. Around 1.7 crore 50-plus age group persons, suffering from comorbidities, have been included in the priority group.