Covid vaccination began in Telangana on Saturday with healthcare workers taking first shot at 139 centers across the state.
A female sanitation worker at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad took the first vaccine in the presence of state health minister Eatala Rajender.
Union Minister of State for Home, G. Kishan Reddy, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, and other officials were present at the formal launch of the programme at Gandhi Hospital.
The vaccination began after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to formally launch the programme was beamed live at all centers.
Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan participated in vaccine rollout programme at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS).
Ratna Mala, superintendent of Government Hospital at Karimnagar, received the first vaccine at the hospital.
A total of 4,000 healthcare workers in government-run facilities will receive the first dose on Saturday.
Health authorities made all arrangements to vaccinate the beneficiaries at 139 centers spread across all 33 districts. The centers set up at major government hospitals and primary health centers were spruced up for the occasion.
State ministers lighted lamps at various centers to formally inaugurate the programme. MPs, MLAs, MLCs, and other public representatives were present at the inauguration.
Health Minister Rajender and director of medical education Ramesh Reddy were to receive the vaccine at Gandhi Hospital.
A maximum of 30 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each center. Director of public health G. Srinivas Rao said the numbers will be ramped up in phases from Monday and in coming days this will reach the maximum level of 100 beneficiaries percenter.
Majority of beneficiaries during the first few days of the vaccination drive will comprise staff from sanitation and security wings of teaching, hospitals, district hospitals and area hospitals and ASHA, Anganwadi, and other workers at primary health centers.
The state health authorities have identified 3.15 lakh healthcare workers in government and private institutions and registered them in Co-Win application, especially developed for Covid vaccination.
The number of centers for vaccination will also be increased gradually from Monday and in next few days, the programme will be conducted at all 1,213 centers depending on the availability of the vaccine doses.
Srinivas Rao said Covid vaccine will be given between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday while routine vaccination programme for children and women will continue every Wednesday and Saturday. There will be no vaccination on Sundays and public holidays.
The state has so far received 3.74 lakh doses from Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and they were stored in 2-8 degree temperature. The authorities have already transported over 50,000 doses to the districts.
The authorities reassured beneficiaries that both Covishield and Covaxin approved for emergency use by Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) were safe and that there is no need for any apprehensions.