374 health workers get first Covishield dose in Chandigarh
Around 75% of 500 health workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 on the first day turned up at the five designated sites in Chandigarh on Saturday.
Of the 374, 109 were inoculated at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), followed by 100 at Government Multi Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, and 70 at its allied civil hospital in Sector 45.
At Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, where two sites have been set up, only 95 of the expected 200 got the jabs.
“The number will suddenly go up as many department heads and administrative officers have taken the vaccine to set an example,” said Dr Jasbinder Kaur, director-principal, GMCH, who too got the first dose. “The exercise is voluntary and we encourage our employees to come forward. I have taken the vaccine and I am perfectly fine.”
Prof Jagat Ram, director, PGIMER, said: “ The health and safety of our employees is our utmost priority, and we intend to inoculate the entire workforce of over 12,000 at the institute.”
A health department spokesperson said there were three minor episodes that were settled without any “active intervention”. All the beneficiaries left the sites in good health after an observation period of 30 minutes, he said.
The UT administration had received 12,000 Covishield doses in the first batch. These are expected to be administered to around 5,400 health workers at the five sites till January 30.
Excitement among health workers
Among cheers and claps, the first beneficiaries took the Covishield jab across the centres established for vaccination.
At PGIMER, Dr Manjinder Singh Randhawa, 29, a resident posted in the paediatric emergency, received the first shot. “I urge others to have faith in science and join the drive,” he said, after coming out of the vaccination room.
At GMSH, Arun, 20, who works as a sanitation attendant, took the first jab. “Being at the front line is full of dangers, and taking the vaccine will instil confidence among us,” he said.
Dr VK Nagpal, joint director, UT health department, who too got vaccinated, said: “In hospitals, we see suffering and mourning every day. But I have never seen such a level of excitement among my colleagues. It may sound cliche, but it is a historic day in a true sense.”
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