Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said over 29 lakh people have registered on the government’s Co-WIN portal on the first day of the public roll out of the coronavirus vaccines on Monday. Till late evening, 1.46 lakh people had reportedly received their first doses.
The actual number of registered people could be around a crore since each individual who registered could add up to four others, siad Dr Vardhan, who is scheduled to take his shot at Delhi’s heart and Lung Institute on Tuesday.
The second phase of vaccination drive against the novel coronavirus began on Monday for those above the age of 60, and those above 45 with specific co-morbid conditions. Among the first to receive the vaccine was Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who administered a shot of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin at AIIMS in New Delhi.
Apart from PM Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Parkash, Minister of State (PMO) Jitendra Singh, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also received their first doses of the vaccine.
The move began amid concerns over mutated strains and spike in Covid-19 cases in a few states, most notably in Maharashtra and Kerala. The Health Minister said the increase in the number of cases in Maharashtra, Kerala or any other state has nothing to do with the new Covid strains, either Brazilian, South African or from the UK. He is hopeful things are going to settle down and the recent spurt is not a permanent thing.
Urging people to keep their guard up despite the rollout of the vaccines, Dr Vardhan also said that the idea of vaccinating as many people as possible is to ensure that more and more people have antibodies, which you can either from being infected or the vaccine. He suggested that the move will strengthen our movement to herd immunity, which scientifically helps in a big way.
The vaccination registration can be done either via the CoWIN web portal or the Aarogya Setu app, with people given a choice of facility between government or private institute from which to get the jab. However, many reported they were unable to book appointments as the platforms were accepting registrations but not allotting appointments at private facilities.
Meanwhile, the total number of Covid-19 cases has surpassed 1.12 crore on Tuesday with 12,286 new infections. More than half of these cases were detected in Maharashtra. With 97 new deaths reported on Monday, total fatalities in the country amounted to over 1.57 lakh.