Union health minister Harsh Vardhan, who on Friday oversaw the dry run for Covid-19 vaccination at government and private hospitals in Chennai and is on his way to the adjoining district of Chengalpattu said that the vaccine would be rolled out in a few days. “In a few days… in the near future, we should be able to give these vaccines to our countrymen,” he told reporters after visiting the first site—Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai.
“We have ensured that every detail is conveyed from the national level up to the grassroot level,” he said
A nationwide dry run for administering the vaccine was conducted in 736 districts across 33 states and Union Territories on Friday.
The priority groups for Covid-19 vaccination across the country are healthcare workers in the public and private sectors, followed by those on the frontlines, such as police, army and paramilitary personnel, and sanitation workers. The second phase will take place for the vaccination of people above the age of 50 followed by those below that age with co-morbidities. “India, in a short time, has been able to develop a vaccine, two of which have now been approved for emergency use,” Vardhan said.
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The minister also visited a vaccination site at the Omandurar multi-speciality government hospital and the Apollo Hospital and met chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami at the state secretariat.
Vardhan inspected the General Medical Store Depot, Periamet, in Chennai— which is one of the four national vaccine storage facilities in the country besides Mumbai, Kolkata and Karnal. Chennai would store the vaccine for distribution to southern states, Vardhan said.
The Union minister was accompanied by Tamil Nadu health minister C Vijayabhaskar and health secretary J Radhakrishnan. Vardhan interacted with healthcare workers who were participating in the dry run.
He hailed the state for bringing down the number of Covid-19 cases and conducting 100% RT-PCR tests and for its treatment. “All through we were worried about many stated and of course Tamil Nadu was one of them,” Vardhan said. “But things were done in such a good manner in Tamil Nadu.”