Bengaluru, March 1 (IANS): As many as 1,576 senior citizens above 60 years of age took the first dose of the anti-Covid vaccine in private and state-run hospitals across Karnataka on Monday.
"A total of 1,576 senior citizens who registered for the vaccine on the first day received the first dose at notified government and private hospitals across the state and no side-effect or adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) was reported from any of them," a state health department official told IANS here.
In Bengaluru, which has been the epi-centre of the pandemic since March last year, 686 senior citizens, including a 97-year-old man took the first shot in 15 private and 3 government hospitals.
"Ramaswami Parthasarathy, 97, was the first to get vaccinated at our hospital earlier in the day," said Manipal Hospital director Manish Rai in a statement.
As citizens above 45 years with comorbidities were also allowed to take the vaccine, 374 received the first dose across the southern state.
"In all, 3,809 citizens, including healthcare workers (1,185) and frontline warriors (674) were inoculated during the day in the third phase of the vaccine drive," said the official.
The vaccine was given free at all state-run hospitals and for Rs 250 per dose at private hospitals as notified by the Union Health Ministry.
Cumulatively, 8,24,202 citizens, including 4,48,190 healthcare workers (first dose) and 2,13,501 (second dose) and 1,60,561 frontline warriors (first dose) have been vaccinated across the state since January 16 when the drive was launched nationwide.
Meanwhile, state Health Minister K. Sudhakar appealed to all senior citizens to get vaccinated at the earliest without hesitation by registering their names online on Co-Win portal or offline at any of the 270 designated government or private hospitals across the state.
"Why hesitate when even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken the vaccine at AIIMS in New Delhi earlier in the day and set an example for others to follow," asserted Sudhakar, a medical doctor by profession, at Sirsi in Uttar Kannada on the state's northwest region after flagging off the drive.
According to the health department, the state has about 50 lakh people above 60 years of age and 16 lakh with comorbidities.
"As serious consequences of infection can be prevented through the vaccine, it is essential for every citizen to take the jab, with seniors on priority," the minister reiterated.
Cautioning people against rumours in the social media about the anti-Covid vaccine, Sudhakar said only government authenticated information should be followed.
"If anyone gets infected after vaccination, there won't be much side-effects. Balanced food and disciplined lifestyle will ensure good health, which will also contribute to economic and education growth. There is no progress without health," added Sudhakar./Eom/450 words.