Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday urged people not to believe in rumours and listen to experts who say COVID-19 vaccines are safe, as the world's largest immunisation programme against the disease began in the country. Kejriwal inspected the COVID-19 vaccination campaign at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital here, interacted with some health workers who received the shot and lauded their contribution in fighting the pandemic.
The vaccination drive has started at 81 centres in Delhi. "I have interacted with those vaccinated. No one has any problem. All are happy that they will get rid of coronavirus," the chief minister said.
He said, "I want to say to all not to pay attention to rumours and misinformation. The experts say vaccines are safe and there is no need to worry." But there is a need to use face masks and maintain social distancing even after receiving the vaccine shots, Kejriwal stressed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the vaccination programme covering the entire length and breadth of the country and urged people to show patience during the COVID-19 immunisation drive as they had shown till now in fighting the pandemic.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had earlier this month approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country. According to the government, the shots will be offered first to an estimated one crore healthcare workers and around two crore frontline workers, and then to persons above 50 years of age, followed by persons younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities.
The cost of vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers will be borne by the central government.