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Covid-19 vaccination begins in Mumbai amid police vigil and photo-ops

4,000 health workers to be vaccinated on Saturday

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Aneesh Phadnis 

Coronavirus vaccine
Covid-19 vaccine being administered to recipient on Saturday

Vaccination drive began in Mumbai an hour after the nationwide kick-off with two doctors receiving the first jabs in the presence of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday.

Vaccination in the city is being carried out at nine centres and over 4,000 frontline staff will get the dose on the first day. Those include doctors, nurses and hospital staff.

While the police maintained a tight vigil at the centres, elected representatives and local politicians made an appearance for a photo-op with doctors and nurses.

The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had made preparations for a smooth roll-out but there were some anxious moments on Saturday due to issues with the government's Co-win digital application being used to monitor and track the vaccination process.

Beneficiaries who were to receive doses on the first day did not receive personalised text messages regarding their vaccination due to technical issues with the application.

"We received a call from (the) ward control room to come for vaccination," said Dr Vishal Jadhav, who received a dose at the V N Desai hospital.

"The vaccine is safe. As doctors, we give injections to all people. If doctors themselves do not take the vaccine how will other people get motivated to take it," Jadhav added.

"There is no need to be afraid of vaccines," said Dr Madhav Karanth who was the first to receive the dose at the V N Desai hospital.

Earlier inaugurating the vaccination drive, Thackeray said he does not want to politicise Covid-19. "Both the vaccines have been approved by the central government after trials. There should be no concerns," he said.

While BMC has received 139,000 doses of Covishield vaccine, six centres in the state including J J hospital in Mumbai are administrating Covaxin doses.

"We have set up forty booths at nine centres. We will vaccinate 4,000 individuals each day on Saturday and Sunday. We can increase (the) vaccination target later," said Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said.

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First Published: Sat, January 16 2021. 14:18 IST