January 17, 2021 5:29:04 am
Enthusiasm was high at the Centre-run Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, among the few hospitals in the national capital to administer Covaxin on Saturday. While Covishield was given at 75 centres, six centres gave Covaxin to recipients.
On Day 1 of the massive exercise, 31 health workers and staff were given the Bharat-Biotech produced vaccine. “We have around 6,500 staff/healthcare workers in the hospital who shall be vaccinated in the coming weeks, with a target of 300 per day,” said Dr Neelam Roy, the nodal official in-charge.
Dr A K Rana, medical superintendent of the hospital, who also got the shot Saturday, said doubts and suspicions over the vaccines were unfounded and that they were based on “rock-solid science”.
The first individual to be vaccinated was Ramakant Singh (40), a security guard at the hospital, who said: “I feel good — no side effects at all. This is good for us.” Jitender Singh Chauhan (36), also a security guard, was also in queue: “We worked quite hard during the lockdown and continue to do so even now; I’m glad we are getting the benefit first.”
Many nursing officials who have spent the past several months under Covid’s shadow also got the vaccine. R K Boyala (55), the superintendent nursing officer, said, “I feel good, hopeful. I did not really feel scared, nor did I get any side effects. I was infected with Covid in May and had recovered. We deal with so many people on a daily basis and have to go home to our families, so the vaccination is welcome.”
Urmil Jaiswal (55), assistant superintendent nursing officer, said, “Life will become smoother now — we suffered a lot this past year. People lost a lot — their incomes, education, and livelihoods. Hopefully life will finally come back on track. We tend to take a lot of precautions, but with this our families are safer.”
People who got Covaxin were asked to sign a consent form and provided with a fact sheet issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with information on the make of the vaccine, its possible side effects and allergic reactions. The individuals were kept under observation for 30 minutes and asked to report back if they had any adverse effects over the next week. They were told to come back in 28 days for the second shot.
The fact sheet also stated that clinical efficacy of the vaccine has not been established as it is currently under phase 3 trial. It stated that the patients shall be followed up for three months, and in case of any adverse effects causally related to the vaccine, they shall be provided healthcare at government hospitals, and be given compensation as decided by the ICMR Central Ethics Committee.
Leela Batkar (60), a deputy nursing officer said, “We are getting vaccines so it encourages others to come forward and get vaccinated as well. If we get scared, what will happen to the public?”
Dr Ramesh Chand Keshav, a faculty from the anaesthesia department, said: “We may not have had a choice when it came to the vaccine, yet it is important and shall provide immunity. This is the only way maximum people can be protected.”
Also at the hospital was Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoS in the Health Ministry, who gave flowers to many healthcare workers. “As one can see, so many people are getting vaccinated, there is no need for any fear,” he said.
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