In Ghaziabad, first beneficiaries lead by example, motivate others for Covid vaccine
Ghaziabad: Thirty-five-year-old Livesh Ram is a lab assistant at the government community health centre (CHC) in Dasna who, along with his wife and five-year-old son had tested positive for the Sars-Cov-2 two months ago. His active involvement in fighting the coronavirus (Covid-19) disease, such as testing people since the first case arrived in March in the district, put him and his family at a greater risk.
On Saturday, he was the first person at the Dasna CHC to receive the vaccine against the virus.
Ram said he was eager to get the shot in order to carry on the fight against the coronavirus. “People here were apprehensive and also afraid. So I decided to take the first vaccine shot. Once I came out after spending 30 minutes in the observation room, my colleagues surrounded me to know how I felt. Later, they also took the vaccine as they saw that I was okay,” he said.
“I know how it feels when I, as well as my family members, was down with the coronavirus. Having gone through something like that, I had no fear left now in taking the vaccine. Our scientists worked so hard to ready the vaccine and I had a positive mindset about it,” he added.
Shameem Saifi, a 43-year-old Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) worker with the Dasna CHC, was ecstatic about getting the vaccine shot, saying she has set an example for others in her village, Bhikkhanpur.
“My family did not listen to any critics or rumours about the vaccine. In fact, my husband Ishtiyak Ahmad came to drop me to the CHC when he came to know that I will get the vaccine shot. I felt very normal after the vaccine and shared my experience with other colleagues,” she said.
“He was also happy and asked me to see if he too can get the shot. I told him that beneficiaries will be selected as per specified category. Hum gareeb parivar se hain, par ghar pe sab sehmat hain (I am from a poor family but everyone at home has shown acceptance to the vaccine),” she added.
About 10 kms away, 65-year-old Dr Tripta Bhagat, vice chancellor of Santosh University, was present throughout the day at her college’s vaccination centre at Santosh Hospital in Vijay Nagar.
“Being a senior citizen, I got the shot in the morning. Initially, there was some anxiety factor in everybody’s mind. So I came forward and took the shot. There were no physical reactions in anybody after getting the shot and I was present at our centre the entire day. Even my son who is a cardiologist took the vaccine,” she said.
“During the morning hours, the turnout was less and we had to counsel people. Thereafter, the listed beneficiaries arrived and took shots. The inaugural event went on smoothly,” she added.
In all, the inaugural vaccination drive was taken up at four centres in Ghaziabad, where a list of 100 beneficiaries each were to take the shots on Saturday.
The Ghaziabad district had received a batch of 2,741 vials of the Covishield vaccine, each having 10 doses. These had been delivered to the four vaccination centres on Friday.
“I was the first to take the vaccine at our centre and thereafter, I was in the observation room for 30 minutes. I faced no issues and I felt normal. Before I arrived to get the vaccine, there was a lot of discussion in my family about it. There was a sense of fear even among the staff at the hospital. So I took rounds of different departments and tried to clear doubts of my staff,” said Dr Sangita Goel, chief medical superintendent of the district women’s hospital.
Under directions from the Uttar Pradesh government, the staff and doctors in the healthcare sector are to get the vaccine shots first.
At the fourth centre in Ghaziabad – Yashoda Hospital, Kaushambi – Dr RK Mani, director of the hospital’s Covid-19 management and strategy wing, registered first and was given the first vaccine shot.
“We are now taking final steps to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. I am doing my duty by getting the vaccine first of all, as doctors have to lead the society by examples. When we doctors get vaccinated, people around us will feel safe in doing the same,” Dr Mani said in a statement issued by the hospital.