Welcomed with balloons, all 100 people listed as beneficiaries at Max Super Specialty Hospital, Saket, were administered the Covid vaccine on Saturday.
While the immunisation drive was to begin at 10.30 am, simultaneously with the PM’s speech, it started an hour later due to an issue with the CoWin app server. “We completed our entire list by around 5.30 pm,” said medical superintendent Sahar Qureshi.
Once it began, the process was smooth. The list of beneficiaries was alphabetical, and they were asked to come by 9-9.30 am. Some received SMSes from the Centre, others got calls from the hospital to arrive on time and bring their Aadhaar card.
First in line to get the shot was Ashutosh Chaturvedi (31), a nurse in-charge in the Emergency department: “For 8-9 months, I could not meet my family; I sent them to Rajasthan. I was given the Covishield vaccine — it was painless and comfortable.”
Also on the list was Dr Abhinav (30), an orthopaedic surgeon who recovered from Covid: “My brother and I got the virus last September; he had to be admitted to the ICU. My parents are above 60 years of age, so getting the vaccine will definitely give me more confidence to meet them.”
Abhimanyu Singh (30), a doctor who worked in the Covid ICU since June, was on the list too. “I didn’t have any side effects but was told there may be slight fever or myalgia (muscle pain), which happens with any vaccine.”
On average, it took around 45 minutes to vaccinate one person.
Meanwhile in East Delhi, Nitin Dhama (28), a lab technician at Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya, was excited about the prospect of seeing his mother, grandmother, wife and three-year-old son again. For the past 10 months, he has been living at the hospital’s hostel. “After my second dose, I will go meet them more often.”
Nitin was among 100 healthcare workers at the centre who received the Covid vaccine.
Adeethi K (34), a nurse, was the first beneficiary. She said, “My husband is also a nurse. We contracted Covid last May and sent our children, aged two and five, to our hometown in Kerala. They have come back now so we do not want them to get exposed. I am glad to be among the first to get vaccinated.”
While some were confident, others were hesitant. Three staffers discussed the pros and cons of getting the vaccine. Sheetal Bharadwaj (28), who works in the accounts department, said, “It is ironic that we were all waiting for the vaccine for so long but now that it is here, we are scared. I think it is safe and once I get it, I will encourage my family and friends to do so too.”
By 5 pm, 49 beneficiaries had been vaccinated. Hospital officials said there was a slight delay initially as the Co-WIN app was down for a short while.
Medical Superintendent Dr Mamta Jajoo said, “The process was quite smooth. We had sent the Delhi government details of all our healthcare workers a few days earlier. On Friday evening, we received a list of 100 healthcare workers. We then sent them messages regarding timings.”
“Of the 49 beneficiaries, only one or two had mild symptoms like headaches for 5-7 minutes.” All beneficiaries were kept in observation post the shot,” she said.
At Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital, by 5 pm, 33 beneficiaries had got the shot. Among them was Rampal Gurjar (36), who was also on duty as a vaccination officer. “It is our duty as healthcare workers to go first,” he said.
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