Kolkata: Doctor's of Bidhannagar Sub Divisional Hospital taking Covishield vaccine during covid-19 vaccination drive at Salt Lake subdivision hospital in Kolkata on January 16, 2021 (Photo: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS). Image Source: IANS News

Bengaluru, Jan 16 : Minutes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually launched the nationwide vaccination drive on Saturday, Karnataka rolled out its first phase of the drive at 243 sites across the state.

K. Nagaratna (28), a ward attendant at Victoria hospital, received the first vaccine shot in the presence of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi and Health Minister K. Sudhakar among others at the Bangalore Medical College.

"The vaccine doses to be administered at all the 243 centres have been capped at 100 in a day, which means about 24,300 health warriors will be vaccinated on the first day of the vaccine roll out," Sudhakar said.

The Group 'D' workers who had played a crucial role in battling the Covid-19 pandemic across the state were given the first shots.

Nagaratna, who hails from a village near Bidadi, was greeted with a bouquet of roses by Yediyurappa after she got the first vaccine jab in the state.

"We have all the wherewithal and capacity to administer vaccines to any number of people but at present we are only restricted to 100 which will be increased gradually in the coming days," the Chief Minister said.

The 77-year-old Lingayat strongman also unveiled a special postal stamp on Covid vaccination.

The Health Minister said that all the necessary arrangements are in place and there are observation rooms to take care in case of any side effect.

"There is no need to worry as the vaccines have come after clinical trials on 25,000 to 30,000 people. There is a demand for this vaccine prepared in India from foreign countries too and shots come comparatively at a low cost here," he added.

Sudhakar said that the health warriors who are at the forefront in the fight against the coronavirus will be given priority and people with co-morbidities will be the next priority.

He added that health officials across Karnataka were instructed this week to stay in touch with a control room for any query once the vaccination drive commences.

The vaccine will be administered in two doses. After the first dose, another dose will be administered after 28 days, the immunity of which will develop after 45 days. One has to be careful until 45 days, the Health Minister said.

According to the health officials, Covishield will be administered in 237 centres and Covaxin in Bellary, Shivamogga, Hassan, Chikmagalur, Chamarajnagar and Davanegere.

A total of 7,17,439 health warriors will be inoculated in the initial phase and there are 8,14,500 vaccine doses in store. The first phase is expected to be completed within a week.

In Bengaluru, 1.71 lakh health workers will receive the shots in the first phase. The second dose will be administered after 28 days.

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