As Madhya Pradesh gears up to carry out the Covid-19 vaccination drive from Saturday, Haridev, a security guard posted at JP Hospital in Bhopal, will be the first person in the state to receive the shot and will also get a chance to speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I am happy to get the first shot and this happiness will double once I speak to the PM,” Haridev said. The native of Roshanpura said he is prepared to take the vaccine jab and affirmed that he will continue to discharge his duty afterwards.
Sources say sanitation workers in Bhopal weren’t too keen to take the first shot. A noted physician is reportedly also on the list of those getting the vaccine but the administration hasn’t released his name.
For health staffers, the first phase of Covid-19 immunisation will be undertaken in Madhya Pradesh at 10.30am, announced state health minister Dr Prabhuram Choudhary in a media symposium on Friday.
The first phase will cover 4.16 lakh health workers, then frontline workers and people above 50 years of age and those with comorbidities will be included in the exercise, the minister said. He clarified that presently minors and pregnant women won’t be included in the vaccination drive.
Those with cough, cold and fever will have to wait four weeks before they are immunised, said state medical education minister Vishwas Sarang. Arrangements have been made to meet any eventuality during the exercise, he added.
Of the 4.16 lakh vaccines to be administered here in the first phase, 3.16 lakh will be for government sector health workers. The vaccines will be taken out on a 'first expired, first out' basis, added Sarang.
The ministers urged the public to refrain from spreading rumours about the vaccines.
"People are raising questions on whether politicians and officers will be vaccinated in the first phase, so I wish to clarify that initial phases will only cover frontline workers and high-risk groups. Commoners, politicians and officers will be vaccinated later," Sarang said.
He also emphasised that the second dose will be administered to beneficiaries 28 days after the first one; so a vaccination cycle will need 42 days to complete and in this period, the person concerned is required to practice all necessary precautions.
The health officials said that the drive could take 6-7 months to complete in the state.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan also addressed the event through videoconferencing and extended greetings to the health staff on the eve of the massive immunisation drive.
The state has received over five lakh doses of vaccine and the Bhopal division has received 94,000 of these. Registered beneficiaries will be informed about the vaccination schedule in an SMS by Friday evening, officials said.