New Delhi: About 3,500 armed forces’ doctors and healthcare personnel, including 3,129 from the Army, were administered Covid-19 vaccine across the country as India began its inoculation drive Saturday.
Sources in the defence and security establishment said the first doses were given to the Army medical team, who are at the forefront of the battle against the pandemic.
“A total of 3,129 healthcare workers of the Army were given the Covid vaccine. Today was the first day and the numbers will increase everyday as the supply of the vaccine increases,” a source said.
Asked about the situation in Ladakh, where thousands of Indian troops are in a tense stand-off with China, sources said only healthcare workers were vaccinated Saturday in Leh, Karu, Kargil and Kiari.
They said the first priority for the Covid vaccine were the frontline warriors and then the soldiers posted in Ladakh.
As of now, the Army in Ladakh has received about 4,000 vials of the vaccine out of the nearly 11,000 that were sent to the region as part of the first phase.
Nearly 250 Covid warriors from Navy vaccinated
In Delhi, doctors at the Base Hospital, the largest Covid hospital of the armed forces, were given vaccines, besides those at the Army Research and Referral Hospital.
The Covid warriors of the other two services — Navy and the IAF — also got vaccinated Saturday. The figure for the Navy stood at about 250, while for the IAF, it is yet to be ascertained.
Covid-19 has been a major worry for the Army, especially in Ladakh, which is seeing a higher concentration of troops since last May due to the ongoing stand-off.
However, sources said there hasn’t been a major outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Ladakh, though there were several individual cases.
As of September last year, nearly 20,000 military personnel had been infected, with the Army alone reporting over 16,000 cases.