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Pune: Emotions run high as first batch recipients get vaccine shots

“I was expecting to get vaccinated sometime in February. But the morning phone call came as a pleasant surprise,” said Dr Kanitkar, head of department of medicine at DY Patil Medical College.

Written by Anjali Marar | Pune |
Updated: January 17, 2021 3:52:22 pm
Covid vaccine PuneYCMH Dean Dr Rajendra Wable gets vaccinated on Saturday. (Express photo by Ashish Kale)

“IT IS the best return gift received for all the hard work my team put in the past several months. Never dreamt that my name would be included among the first batch of vaccine recipients,” said an elated Dr Trupti Sagale, senior medical officer at Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital (YCMH), in Pimpri on Saturday.

Dr Sagale was too busy to get herself vaccinated before lunchtime owing to her multiple responsibilities as a team lead. From overseeing the flow of incoming registered beneficiaries, guiding them through the vaccination process and monitoring their health after they get the shot, the YCMH team did it all by appearing fully geared on the first day of the world’s largest vaccination drive against Covid-19. Leading from the front, YCMH Dean Dr Rajendra Wable was the first to take the Covishield shot around 11.15am when the drive began at the centre. The hospital had stocked 130 Covishield vials that arrived at the hospital in the wee hours on January 13.

Since the vaccine’s arrival on campus, the medical staff have experienced immense relief and happiness. “After working round-the-clock under tremendous stress, this day is truly a historic one for us,” said Yashaswita Bankhele, public health nurse and centre in-charge at YCMH.

Of the 100 listed beneficiaries for the first day’s vaccination at the hospital, 10 were medical staff from nearby Dr DY Patil Medical College. The final list with 100 beneficiaries at each of the eight centres in Pimpri-Chinchwad was drafted late on Friday night. As a result, many from the list failed to make it to the vaccination centre on the D-Day, health officials said.

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Dr Shubhangi Kanitkar, who was busy with plans to be executed on Saturday, received a call in the morning from YCMH, informing her inclusion in the maiden vaccine recipients’ list.

“I was expecting to get vaccinated sometime in February. But the morning phone call came as a pleasant surprise,” said Dr Kanitkar, head of department of medicine at DY Patil Medical College. Till afternoon, she was the only vaccine recipient at the hospital to be accompanied by a family member, her husband Dr Abhay Kanitkar, as most recipients were in-house medical staff. A total of 2,000 medical staff have registered to be vaccinated at YCMH which includes 1,500 of their own. The drive here will continue on January 19 and 20.

On the arrangements made at the government-run hospital, Dr Abhay said, “From receiving a call to the overall arrangements made, it is satisfactory.” Gynecologist Mangal Supe, who works at YCMH, experienced heaviness in head for a short span of time soon after she received the Covishield shot.

“I was anxious about which vaccine, Covishield or Covaxin, will be administered. I did some quick research, prepared myself and calmed myself down before arriving at the vaccine centre,” said Dr Supe.

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