Have no fear, say those who would be first to get the jab in MP

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(Eds: with minor edit in intro) Bhopal/Indore, Jan 15 (PTI) Haridev Yadav and Asha Pawar, who would be among the first to receive COVID-19 vaccine in Madhya Pradesh, are confident that it is the right thing to do.

The inoculation drive will start at 10.30 am at 150 centers across the state on Saturday alongwith the rest of the country, Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Dr Prabhuram Choudhary said.

Healthcare workers will be the first get the jab at every centre, he said.

Santosh Shukla, additional director, vaccination, said the first vaccine shot will be administered at the state-run J P Hospital in Bhopal.

Yadav, who works as a security guard at the hospital, has been told that he would be the first recipient.

'I am elated that I will become the first person to be vaccinated in the state. I volunteered for the vaccination. My wife initially had reservations but now she agrees that vaccine should be taken,' he said.

'I have not taken a single day's leave since the outbreak of coronavirus,' he said.

To a question, Yadav said, 'Why should we have fear about the vaccination when the prime minister himself is launching the campaign?' In Indore, Pawar (55), who works as `Aaya' (attender) in the district hospital, said she agreed immediately when asked if she would be ready to receive the jab.

'I and my family members are totally confident about the vaccine,' said Pawar, who lives with her son, daughter- in-law and grand-children.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan discussed preparations for the inoculation drive with Choudhary and the MP Medical Education Minister Vishwas Sarang on Friday and expressed satisfaction, said a government spokesperson.

Choudhary said all those who are to receive the jab on Saturday will get necessary text message by Friday evening.

Both Covishield and Covaxin -- the two vaccines cleared by the government for the inoculation drive -- are totally safe, he assured.

As many as 4.17 lakh healthcare workers will be administered vaccine in the first phase in Madhya Pradesh.

The state has received 5,06,500 doses of Covishield vaccine so far. PTI MAS HWP KRK KRK KRK