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Not afraid of side effects: 45-year-old nurse who took first shot of Covaxin in Pune region

For Vaishali Kardile, it hardly mattered which “brand” of the vaccine she was administered. “I contracted Covid-19 in September and have since recovered.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
January 17, 2021 3:55:05 am
Pune covid, Pune covid vaccine, Pune covid vaccination, Covaxin, indian express newsCovid vacinnation underway at the district hospital in Aundh, Saturday. (Photo: Arul Horizon)

Vaishali Kardile (45), nurse incharge of the paediatric section at the district hospital in Aundh, was the first beneficiary in Pune region to receive a 0.5 ml dosage of Covaxin. Developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, the country’s first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine was rolled out across six centres in Maharashtra on Saturday. A total of 115 beneficiaries received their first dose at two centres in Pune region — 55 at the district hospital in Aundh and 60 at the government medical college in Solapur.

For Kardile, it hardly mattered which “brand” of the vaccine she was administered. “I contracted Covid-19 in September and have since recovered. Frankly, I am not afraid of any side effects. If we do not risk our lives to save others, who will?” she said. “Several of us were posted for supervision duty on a rotation basis in Covid isolation wards… It has been a very moving experience. My children, however, are excited about me being the first one who got the dose.” Her husband Dattatrey Kardile, a male psychiatric nurse, has also registered for taking Covaxin and is awaiting his turn.

Head of the Department of Medicine at the district hospital in Aundh, Dr Kiran Khalate filled out his consent form to take the Covaxin shot on Saturday, stayed in the observation room for half an hour and then resumed his work. Priyanka Jadhav, who has been engaged in care for Covid patients in the ICU for the past nine months, said, “Taking the vaccine feels like an added weapon to protect our family.”

A section of class 3 and 4 staffers from the district hospital, who were sent messages to report for the vaccination scheduled on Saturday, admitted to not knowing which vaccine they were being administered. Godavari Kendre (55), an attendant in the general ward who has been working at the hospital for 30 years, said, “Everyone has been told to take the vaccine and so, I am taking it. I don’t know which vaccine it is, but it is against coronavirus,” she said. Shashikant Waghmare (51), another attendant at the hospital’s ICU ward, said, “So far, I have not been infected. Let’s hope the vaccine prevents the viral infection,” he said. Dilip Gahlot (55), who is engaged in housekeeping and transport work at the hospital, said, “I reported during the allotted time for taking the shot as per instructions. I am not sure which vaccine is being administered; so long as it protects us,” he said.

Deputy Director (Health), Pune region, Dr Sanjay Deshmukh, said that no adverse reactions after taking Covaxin were recorded at the district hospital in Aundh and the government medical college in Solapur.

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