For quite some time, Indians had been waiting with bated breath to know when the vaccination drive against COVID-19 would begin here, for it had started in all major countries across the world! However, despite countries like the USA, UK, Canada, Bahrain and others authorising the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Inc.'s Covid-19 vaccines, the Indian authorities had not done the same. Indians had been waiting to see when this would happen but the Indian government had decided to approve the emergency use of 2 indigenously developed vaccines - Covishield and Covaxin. The Government had also announced that the first phase of the COVID vaccination drive would begin in India, on January 16th!

As promised, the vaccination began across India today morning. The Covishield vaccine, developed by the Serum Institute of India, had been distributed to all the states and Union Territories while Bharat Biotech's Covaxin was supplied to 12 states. As per reports issued by the Union Health Ministry, there were a total of 3,351 sessions of vaccinations held today across the country, having a total of 16,755 vaccinators involved in the process. On Day 1 of the vaccination drive, 1,65,714 beneficiaries received COVID vaccine shots. The Health Ministry had also stated that among all the beneficiaries, not even a single case had reported of any post-vaccine complications.

Earlier today morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the vaccination drive and also urged the people to show some patience during the immunisation drive, just like they had patiently fought the Pandemic. A hospital worker - Manish Kumar, became the first person in India to receive the COVID-19 vaccine shot. He was administered the vaccine at Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), which is one of the 3,006 vaccination centres across India. Recently, we had heard that the Indian government had purchased 11 million doses of Covishield from Serum Institute and 5.5 million doses of Covaxin from Bharat Biotech. The first phase of the COVID vaccination drive in India will see over 3 Crore frontline workers and health workers receiving the shots.