Telangana Health Minister Etala Rajender today announced to the people of the state that he would be the first person to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in the upcoming state-wide immunisation drive.
He revealed that he had decided to volunteer to receive the injection first in order to reassure the "vaccine-hesitant" people of the state that the injection was indeed safe.
"The government has been working hard to ensure that neither the bird flu outbreak nor the coronavirus spread in the state. There have been no cases of bird flu in the state, and the Covid-19 situation too is under control. We are now working towards ensuring that the state-wide vaccination drive against Covid-19 can be carried out smoothly. However, many reports suggest that the people are still worried about getting inoculated as they feel unsure about the safety of the vaccine itself. They should not worry about this as it is completely safe. To put their minds at ease, and to encourage them to get injected, I have volunteered to be the first person in Telangana to receive the shot," he said.
"The people should also remember that the TRS government has invested heavily in the development of the state's healthcare sector. We have spent Rs 7,500 crore to strengthen it, and Rs 450 crore on the development works at the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences in Panjagutta," he added.
Earlier in the day, the minister inaugurated an oncology ward at the NIMS, which had been sponsored by the Megha Engineering Company. The cancer ward was developed at a cost of Rs 18 crore.
While the TRS government has been proactive in taking steps
to prepare for the state-wide vaccination program that will likely commence by January 16, the reluctance of the people of the state to get injected might seriously hinder the drive. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan also addressed the issue of "vaccine hesitance" while inspecting the dry run
conducted for the Covid-19 vaccine at the Tilak Nagar PHC, some days ago. During the inspection, she repeatedly assured the people that the vaccine was completely safe, and urged them to get inoculated during the drive.