MADURAI: “I would certainly get vaccinated when my turn comes,” Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said on Saturday after kicking-off the Covid vaccination drive at the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai. The first shot of the vaccine was administered to Dr K Senthil, State president of TN Government Doctors Association.
Following him, Dr A Jayalal, national president of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Dr J Sangumani, Dean of GR H, and Dr Ramakrishnan, State president of IMA, were inoculated. Government and private doctors, sanitary workers at GR H, and ambulance drivers were also vaccinated. Palaniswami said that the top doctors receiving the first two shots has sent a strong message to the larger public that the vaccines are safe. “The fear will fade away gradually,” he expressed confidence.
He further stated that Tamil Nadu has a total of 5,56,500 doses of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines in stock. With the available doses, TN intends to inoculate 2.5 lakh health workers initially, by administering two doses each to them, with a 28-day gap, he said. Responding to a query on why TN chose to administer Covaxin when States like Chattisgargh declined to use it citing its pending phase III trial, the Chief Minister said,
“The vaccine was approved by the Centre after careful scrutiny by the Drug Controller General of India and the State has adopted the Centre’s decision.” Deputy CM O Panneerselvam, Ministers C Vijayabaskar, RB Udhayakumar, Sellur K Raju, Dindigul C Srinivasan, Theni MP P Ravindhranath, Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan, Collector T Anbalagan and Director of Public Health Dr TS Selvavinayagam were also present.