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Sanitation worker gets first COVID-19 vaccine shot in Odisha

51-year-old Biranchi Naik, a sanitation workerat Capital Hospital, was given the first COVID-19 vaccine as the Odisha government began its mass vaccination drive at 161 centres across the State here on January 16, 2021.   | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT

A sanitation worker was given the first COVID-19 vaccine as the Odisha government began its mass vaccination drive at 161 centres across the State here on Saturday.

The worker — identified as 51-year-old Biranchi Naik, who has been working at Capital Hospital for the past 30 years — received a Covaxin jab.

“I would be lying if I say I was not scared before taking the vaccine. However, when the Prime Minister and Chief Minister have been giving assurances on vaccination, no one should be worried,” said Mr. Naik.

The worker, while interacting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, said he was feeling fine after getting the first dose.

The director of Capital Hospital and a senior doctor also took the vaccine in order to dispel doubts in the minds of people. Similarly, Gitanjali Batmanabane, Director of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, received the vaccine.

At 11.05 a.m., the first vaccine dose was administered. “It is matter of great satisfaction that the vaccination has marked our entry in the critical last leg of our fight against COVID-19. We intend to vaccinate 16,100 persons at the rate of 100 persons each at 161 centres on Saturday,” said Pradipta Mohapatra, Additional Chief Secretary (Health).

“We are trying to cover 3.28 lakh health workers under the vaccination programme by January 25. As many as 1.92 lakh out of 3.28 lakh will be vaccinated with the first lot of Covishield and Covaxin. We are confident that second batch of vaccines will arrive on time,” said Mr. Mohapatra.

“Currently, the second phase of enumeration of police and fire service personnel is under way and employees of municipal administration will be enumerated in the third phase by January 25,” said the Health Secretary. The State will count elderly people above 50 and people with co-morbidities in the fourth phase.

Mr. Patnaik interacted and took feedback from those who were immunised in different districts on the first day.

“This is good news for us. A long wait finally comes to end with the vaccination programme. We again seek the cooperation of doctors and health workers, who have worked hard for the past 10 months for the success of the current vaccination programme,” he said.

Mr. Patnaik also congratulated vaccine manufacturing companies for rising to the occasion.

The State government has decided to pause the vaccination drive for a day on Sunday in order to observe the impact of the vaccine. The drive will resume on Monday.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 9:56:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sanitation-worker-gets-first-covid-19-vaccine-shot-in-odisha/article33586532.ece

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