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Ratan Tata takes the COVID-19 vaccine

Industrialist Ratan Tata on Saturday tweeted that he has been administered his first COVID-19 shot, and that it was effortless and painless.

“Very thankful to have gotten my first vaccination shot today. It was effortless and painless. I truly hope everyone can be immunised and protected soon,” Tata wrote on the microblogging social media platform.

Over 21.4 million people in India – or 1.57 percent of the total population – have received at least one dose against the virus so far, as per statistics from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The current vaccines in India – Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin – both have a double-dose regimen, with the second shot to be given around four to six weeks after the first.

In recent days, concerning reports of Covishield – the local name for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine – causing blood clots have led to it being suspended in over 10 European countries. The AEFI (adverse event following immunisation) committee in India said earlier today it will look at all hospitalisations and deaths caused by Covishield closely again in light of the new information.

However, the World Health Organisation has said there is no reason to stop using the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Covaxin, the second vaccine in India, recently submitted the initial results of its phase 3 clinical trials. Its manufacturer, Bharat Biotech said the vaccine has shown nearly 81 percent efficacy against the coronavirus.

The immunisation drive in India is currently open to people above the age of 60, and people between the ages of 45 to 59 with specified co-morbidities.

The government has said around 10,000 private hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat PMJAY, and more than 600 hospitals under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) have been asked to ramp up vaccination capacity.

Private hospitals have been enlisted to administer the vaccines too.

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