Wazirabad housekeeping staffer becomes the first recipient of Covid-19 vaccine in Gurugram
Radha Chaudhary, a housekeeping staff member of Wazirabad urban primary health centre (UPHC), became the first recipient of the Covishield vaccine in Gurugram on Saturday. However, until January 15, a night before the nationwide launch of the two Covid-19 vaccines, Chaudhary had no idea that she would be the first one to be vaccinated. On Saturday, as she received the injection in her arm at a vaccination site in government primary school in Wazirabad, Chaudhary suddenly realised that she had to lead by example.
“I didn’t feel anything at the time of vaccination — no pain or fear,” said Chaudhary, seated in a brown plastic chair inside the observation room. “For the last one year, many doctors have been working day and night to save lives of people infected with Covid-19. It is only through vaccination that we can bring the disease to an end and save lives,” she said, without flinching for a moment.
For the last two years, Chaudhary has been working as a cleaner at the Wazirabad UPHC. Before that, she worked in a private school in Sector 9. Since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, she has been assigned the task of collecting and disposing of the waste generated during Covid-19 sample collection. She has even assisted the rapid response teams during testing camps. “I was never scared of Covid-19 duties,” she said.
For the 47-year-old, the speech given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through video conference before the launch further boosted her confidence. She was administered the vaccine soon after the launch. “Vaccination wasn’t scary as senior doctors at our UPHC also got vaccinated along with us. But what the PM said about the vaccine being a protective shield against the virus made me feel more positive,” she said.
Chaudhary was not aware of the name of the vaccine being given to her. After waiting in the observation room for 30 minutes, Chaudhary came out brimming with confidence. “It feels normal. There is no itchiness or redness at the injection site,” she said.
Chaudhary said her name was initially on the 38th spot in the list of beneficiaries. But the sanitation staffer was given priority on Saturday. “Before coming for the vaccination, I have heard that many people were sceptical about taking the vaccine. I simply knew that I had to take an injection. But now I feel that people should come forward and get vaccinated, without a shadow of doubt. My husband, who also works as a housekeeping staff at Civil Hospital, Sector 10, said to me that I was lucky to get vaccinated,” said Chaudhary.