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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The Covid-19 vaccination drive launched in Odisha on Saturday, along with the rest of the country, as part of a mega nation-wide immunization drive against the coronavirus.

Biranchi Naik, a Class IV staff at the Capital Hospital became the first Covid warrior in the State to take the jab of the COVID-19 vaccine in Bhubaneswar.

Naik was administered the first dose of the COVID vaccine as per the guidelines and other modalities fixed by the Health Ministry and the State Health department.

51-year-old Naik has been working at the Capital hospital, the biggest government hospital in the capital city of Odisha, since the past 30 years.

“I took the first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine today. I feel happy that the much-awaited vaccine was administered to me and this will protect me from the virus. I urge all people to come forward and take the vaccine which is absolutely safe,” said Naik.

Naik also urged all sanitary employees, who are engaged in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, to take the vaccine as it will help to boost their immunity against the dreaded virus.

Additional Chief Secretary (Health) PK Mohapatra said that the COVID-19 vaccination drive kick started in Odisha at around 11:05 am, minutes after the nation-wide rollout of the vaccine by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.

The COVID-19 vaccination drive is being carried out at 161 session sites across Odisha. In the first phase, nearly 16,000 beneficiaries will be administered the first dose of the vaccine today,” said Mohapatra.

Mohapatra further said the vaccination drive will take a pause tomorrow and all the beneficiaries would be under observation by the health teams in respective districts.

“By January 25, we target to vaccinate around 3.28 lakh health workers in the State,” Mohapatra added.

Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary said around 9,000 health workers will be given in the COVID-19 vaccine shot in the first phase in the Smart City.

The vaccination drive is underway at six centres in Bhubaneswar and 100 health-workers will be administered the first jab of the vaccine at each centre, he said.

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