The Odisha administration has decided to put a pause on the  COVID-19 vaccination drive for the whole of Sunday. The administration stated that they will observe those who were given the vaccine on Saturday.

The administration will start the vaccination drive again from Monday.

“We want to observe those who took the vaccine. From Monday, the vaccination drive will continue till all 3.28 lakh health workers are inoculated,” said Pradipta Mohapatra, the additional chief secretary (health).

With this announcement, Odisha has become the first state to halt the vaccination drive.

On Saturday, Odisha began its vaccination drive at 161 session sites across the state.

The world's largest vaccination programme in India will take place in all the states and union territories across the length and breadth of the country.

The first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive will cover three crore healthcare and frontline workers, as they are getting vaccinated first in this drive. The vaccine is provided free of cost for this targeted phase.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had earlier approved the Serum Institute of India's Covishield (developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca) and Bharat Biotech's indigenously developed Covaxin for restricted emergency use, which has led to the vaccination drive.

DCGI on January 3 had granted restricted emergency use authorisation to the Serum Institute of India (SII)'s 'Covishield' and Bharat Biotech's 'Covaxin' vaccine.

Covishield is over 70 percent effective, while Covaxin is currently in the Phase 3 trials but is "safe and provides a robust immune response", the drug regulator had earlier stated.

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