Against elsewhere in the country Telangana health minister Etela Rajender on Jan 16 was about to become the first politician to set the example by taking the first shot of COVID-19 vaccine at Gandhi Hospital, the nodal health-hub for this purpose in Hyderabad.
At 10:30 in the morning Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out the largest such drive in the world. In all 3,006 places have been chosen for this purpose.
According to reports from Telangana the health workers in the state were somewhat reluctant to take the first shot Thus, to remove the doubt and boost the confidence the health minister himself offered to get the first dose. But in this meantime came ‘strict instruction’ from the Prime Minister that health workers should be the first to take the vaccine.
Apart from Rajender the Union minister of state for home, G Kishan Reddy and a minister in K Chandrashekar Rao cabinet, T Srinivas Yadav, were also present on the occasion. However, the last two were not in the list to get vaccine.
Curiously, Telangana has got just 20,000 doses of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin manufactured in Hyderabad against 3.64 lakh Covishield doses of Serum Institute, Pune.
On the first day only Covishield vaccine were administered and not of locally manufactured Covaxin.
Later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted through video-conferencing with those who got the first in Hyderabad.
Elsewhere in the country the first shots were administered to sanitary workers or other health workers. For example, in Delhi AIIMS Director Dr. Randeep Guleria took the shot live on Television.
But in Bihar’s capital Patna a sanitary worker of the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Ram Babu, got the first dose. Chief minister Nitish Kumar was also present on the occasion.
India on Saturday launched the largest such campaign in which three crore health workers would be first inoculated to be followed by 27 crore people above-50 or those who are suffering from chronic diseases.
It needs to be mentioned that the US President-Joe Biden has already got both the shots. Queen Elizabeth of the UK, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, King Salman of Saudi Arabia and present US Vice President Mike Pence got their jabs in the initial days of campaign in their respective countries.
In India Telangana health minister was about to set example before being asked by the Prime Minister’s office not to do so.