Haryana health minister says will not get second dose of vaccine against COVID-19

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Chandigarh, Mar 1 (PTI) Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij on Monday said that he did not need vaccination against coronavirus as he has a 'high antibody count'.

His comments came as the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccine drive was rolled out in the country for those above 60 years of age and above 45 years with comorbidities.

'Today coronavirus vaccination drive is beginning for the general public. Everyone should get it without any hesitation.

'I cannot receive the vaccine because after being infected my antibody count is currently 300, which is quite high. Maybe the trial vaccine I had taken also had a role to play. I do not need the vaccine at this moment,' Vij said in a tweet in Hindi.

The minister had voluntarily taken a dose of Bharat Biotech's vaccine 'Covaxin' at a hospital in Ambala on November 20 last year. He had offered to be the first volunteer for the third phase trial of Covaxin, which had started in Haryana.

Antibodies in the human body develop only after 14 days of getting the second dose.

However, after the jab he tested positive for coronavirus on December 5 last year and was hospitalised. He had later clarified that he had received only the first shot of the two-dose Covaxin.

Meanwhile, Vij launched the next phase of COVID-19 vaccination in the state on Monday.

He said that in this phase the vaccine will be administered in 386 private hospitals empanelled under state government and the Ayushman Bharat Yojana. The COVID-19 vaccine will be administered free of cost in all government hospitals of the state, while its cost will be Rs 250 in the said private hospitals, Vij said The cost of Rs 250 includes Rs 150 as charges for the vaccine and Rs 100 as service charges of hospitals, he said. The minister on Monday addressed all civil surgeons, directors of private hospitals on the panel through video-conferencing, an official release said here. He directed the civil surgeons to carefully monitor the maintenance of cold chains in all hospitals.

Besides, Vij asked them to ensure that private hospitals are adhering to the price fixed by the central government and these hospitals refrain from overcharging so that the beneficiaries are administered the vaccine on time at the prescribed rate. He said that so far about 70 per cent of health workers and more than 50 per cent of frontline workers have been already been vaccinated in the state. Along with this, frontline workers like employees of urban local bodies, sanitation workers, police personnel, civil defence workers, jail staff, panchayati raj institutions and staff of revenue department are being administered the vaccine, he said. PTI VSD AAR AAR