Updated: March 2, 2021 10:29:54 am
As phase two of the vaccination drive kicked off in Punjab, those who came out on the first day of the campaign belonged to all walks of life. Those who got the jab on Monday included farmers, housewives, retired principals, and teachers.
Mahinder Singh (80), who works as a tailor, was the eldest person of Mansa to get the first shot. Singh said, “These days, I work only when my body permits, otherwise my two sons are also into tailoring. During Covid period, I remained healthy throughout. But in the entire lockdown, everyone was eagerly waiting for the vaccine, hence when finally it has come, why should we not get ourselves vaccinated? I am aware that people are coming in very less numbers, but I had no reservations, despite the fact that I am just a matriculate. My wife, Mukhtair Kaur, who is 78-year-old will be going on Tuesday for her first dose. She is having joint problems and hence could not go on Monday as she was unwell. But our entire house will get ourselves vaccinated as per our turns.”
Prem Nath Babbar (75) of Ghaniani village of Fazilka was the eldest in Fazilka to get himself vaccinated along with his wife, Jang Rani, at Fazilka Civil Hospital. Babbar said, “I live in Fazilka’s Istri Bhawan street and the village is about 5-6 km away from this place. I have fruit orchards, with guava in majority. My son lives in Bangalore and my daughter is married in Bathinda and hence during lockdown. We really used to be worried at times, I and my wife used to remain indoors most of the time, and on and off, I used to visit my orchards as well. So, I was eagerly waiting for this vaccine. This was the reason that I went first of all to get the dose. I am a hypertensive patient as well and hence, I had all the reason to go for it. Though I did not contract Covid, it is still not over and hence, we cannot take it lightly.”
Jang Rani said, “When we were living under lockdown, we all used to panic as when will the vaccine come and now when it has come, people are not very keen about it. I think vaccines are going to provide us a shield.”
Durga Das Singhal (75), a retired college principal who got vaccinated at Barnala Civil Hospital, came along with his wife to get the first shot. Durga said,”I got the first shot today, and rather than living under fear of corona, it is better to get vaccinated. My wife, Sunita Rani, also got her first dose today itself.” Sunita, who is 74-year-old shared her experience and said,”I am having no disease and I got the first shot. I did not face any discomfort.. I did not even feel the needle prick.”
Lachhman Das, a kirana shop owner living in the water works colony of Mansa, said, “I am 74-year-old and during lockdown, I used to open my shop for providing ration as well.. I was not very regular in opening because of my age as I could not risk it. I am a heart patient as well and I got angioplasty done four years ago. I also got unwell during lockdown, but was not tested positive of Covid. I was waiting for this vaccine. After the first dose, I feel that now my fear and risk will reduce. I am waiting for the second dose on March 28.”
His wife Bimla Devi (71) also got herself vaccinated. Bimla, however, is has no comorbidities. Lacchman said, “I heard the news on television and as I and my wife come in the senior citizen category. And then we thought of going to civil hospital to get the dose.” However, response from the general public was not very encouraging as very few turned up at almost every session site.
In Muktsar, only 18 persons turned up while in Ludhiana, 479 got themselves vaccinated. In Barnala, only 23 got themselves vaccinated. Less awareness could be the reason for the same, revealed a mass media officer from the state health department.
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