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Vaccination for children Initial fears give way to enthusiasm as teenagers turn up at centres to get jab

Officials said in the first phase, 1.17 lakh children will be given the first dose of the vaccine.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
January 4, 2022 1:35:45 am
Children at Kamala Nehru Hospital to receive their Covid-19 vaccine on Monday. Arul Horizon

As the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) on Monday kick-started the vaccination drive for children between 15 and 18 years of age, it was greeted with enthusiastic response from teenagers. While a small number was seen tense and nervous before taking the jab, a majority of them was unfazed and seemed eager to get themselves vaccinated to fight against Covid-19. As many as 1,947 teenagers received first dose of Covaxin on Day 1 without any adverse event.

Officials said in the first phase, 1.17 lakh children will be given the first dose of the vaccine.
The drive started around 10am at eight centres of the civic body. The centres include ESIC hospital, Mohannagar, Premlok Park dispensary, Masulkar Colony Eye hospital, New Thergaon Hospital, Thergaon, Old Bhosari Hospital, Urdu school, Yamunanagar, New Jijamata Hospital, Pimpri and Kasarwadi dispensary.

Officials said even though the vaccination centres saw a lukewarm response in the morning, the pace of vaccination picked up as the day progressed with more kids turning up, apparently after their school and colleges hours. Civic officials lamented the fact that educational institutes had not given the students any break to get vaccinated.

Sixteen-year-old old Shravani Shinde who lives in Vallabhnagar area said, “I was tense before coming to the vaccination centre…But I didn’t even realise when they gave the jab while we were conversing.” Seventeen-year-old Gauri Dait said she was scared of injections. “I am afraid of injections but I forgot about the pain as I chatted up with the staff. I didn’t even realise when it was over,” she said.

Many other students, though, seemed fearless about injections and some even came at the centers without their parents. “I had no fear of the jab and only felt a little pain while taking the dose,” said Anusham Salve (14) of Baner. “I learnt about the vaccination in my tuition class. It has been made mandatory for all of us to get the jab,” said Tanishq Ware. Yug Tyagi, who came from Khadki, said, “I harboured no fears…It is important to take the vaccine to protect oneself from Covid.”
“I saw the news on television and then registered myself on the app (Co-WIN). I had been waiting to get the jab for a long time,” said Daksha Bhadre (15) of Dapodi.

Dr Varsha Dange, medical officer, PCMC, said for the purpose of getting the vaccine dose, registration on http://www.cowin.gov.in is mandatory. The slot booking will start at 8 am every day.
“We have adequate stock of the vaccine for children from 15 to 18 years of age,” said Dr Laxman Gofane, who heads the PCMC’s medical department. “Currently, we have made arrangements at eight centres and will set up more later on. Every centre has been provided 500 doses,” he added.

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