AHMEDABAD: A medical van driver from Rajkot, along with doctors, on Saturday became one of the first beneficiaries of COVID-19 vaccine in Gujarat on the first day of the inoculation drive.
The drive began at 161 centres in the state where the vaccine jabs were administered to health workers almost simultaneously.
Former president of Medical Council of India (MCI) Dr Ketan Desai, was the second person to receive the vaccine at civil hospital in Ahmedabad.
In Ahmedabad civil hospital, the first doses of vaccine were given to doctors in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel.
Medical Superintendents of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar civil hospitals will get the vaccine besides more than 16,000 health workers in the state during the day.
In one of the centres in Rajkot, Ashokbhai, who drives a medical van, became the first recipient of the vaccine.
"I am honoured that my name has been selected for first dose of vaccine at this centre in Rajkot. I didn't have any apprehension about getting this vaccine. Everyone should take it," Ashok bhai told reporters.
Vaccines are being given across six centers in Rajkot.
Dr Ketan Desai said, "Nobody should have fear of side effects of this vaccine as it has passed through many trials and experts have certified it".
Gujarat Immunisation Officer Dr Nayan Jani said the state state Health department has identified 4.31 lakh health workers, such as doctors and nurses, for the first phase of the vaccine drive starting tomorrow.
"After health workers, 6.93 lakh frontline workers, such as police personnel, 1.05 crore citizens above the age of 50 and 2.75 lakh people under 50 with comorbidities will be covered under the vaccination drive," he said.
He said vaccine shots will be administered to 100 health workers per centre every day.
"Beneficiaries will get an SMS through CO-WIN application about address of the centre and other instructions," said Jani.
Around 15,000 vaccinators have already been trained by the Health department and the entire administration is fully prepared to roll out the drive in Gujarat, he added.