Kejriwal 'certifies' vaccines, asks people not to believe in rumours
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday urged people not to believe in rumours and listen to experts who say COVID-19 vaccines are safe, as the world's largest immunisation programme against the disease began in the country.
Kejriwal inspected the COVID-19 vaccination campaign at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital here, interacted with some health workers who received the shot and lauded their contribution in fighting the pandemic.
The vaccination drive has started at 81 centres in Delhi. Atmaja Priyadarshini Nayak, nursing officer at the LNJP Hospital, was administered the vaccine shot in the presence of the chief minister.
"I have interacted with those vaccinated. No one has any problem. All are happy that they will get rid of coronavirus," the chief minister said.
He said, "I want to say to all not to pay attention to rumours and misinformation. The experts say vaccines are safe and there is no need to worry."
But there is a need to use face masks and maintain social distancing even after receiving the vaccine shots, Kejriwal stressed.
The Delhi government has made all the preparations and around 8,100 people will be vaccinated on Saturday at 81 sites across Delhi, he said, adding the exercise was running smoothly at LNJP and those vaccinated were very happy.
The chief minister said there was no need to launch a separate app to register people for vaccination as the Centre has devised the same system for the entire country.
Number of vaccination centres will be raised to 175 gradually in the coming days and to 1000 as and when vaccine availability increases, Kejriwal said.
Delhi Health minister Satyendar Jain said health workers will be the first to receive the vaccine followed by frontline workers such as civil defence volunteers and police officials.
Following this, people above 50 years and then younger people but with co-morbidities will be vaccinated, he said.
LNJP Hospital director Dr Suresh Kumar said, "World's largest vaccination drive has started in Delhi from LNJP Hospital. CM Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendar Jain inspected the preparations and they spoke to eight people who received the vaccine."
"I want to request people to participate in the vaccination drive," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the vaccination programme covering the entire length and breadth of the country and urged people to show patience during the COVID-19 immunisation drive as they had shown till now in fighting the pandemic.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had earlier this month approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.