'Beginning of the final war': Here is what health workers said after getting Covid-19 shots
From the heights of Ladakh to coastal Kerala, healthcare and frontline workers were administered with vaccines as India launched its vaccination drive against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Saturday. The Union health ministry said as many as 191,181 people were given the shot during the first day of the vaccination drive across the country. Sanitation worker Manish Kumar became the first recipient of the Covid-19 shot in the country as he was vaccinated at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the presence of Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and other doctors.
During the first phase of the vaccination, which started on Saturday, healthcare workers and people who are working at the forefront of the fight will be vaccinated. In the second phase, people older than 50 or deemed high-risk because of pre-existing medical conditions will be given priority. The vaccines will be available for the general public after the priority list is covered.
Priyanka Maitra Karwk, a doctor at Medical College in Kolkata, was among the people who received the first shot of the vaccine. Karwk said that she was feeling "absolutely fine" and urged others to do the same. "I am feeling absolutely fine after receiving the vaccine shot. Will take another dose after 28 days. I would urge people to come up and take the vaccine," PTI quoted as saying.
K Senthil, the president of Tamil Nadu's government association of doctors, said, "We saw agony, pain and many deaths due to coronavirus. We have been waiting for the vaccine for the past 10 months and it arrived sooner than we expected. For me, this is both an opportunity and a luck to get the vaccine".
The news agency also cited K Jayamma, a health worker in Telangana, as saying that she got herself vaccinated first to "allay apprehensions if any about the vaccination." "I had no fear of taking the vaccine," she also said, PTI reported.
In the national capital, Vinish Kumar, part of the nursing staff at a hospital, said that he was feeling normal after taking the shot. However, his blood pressure did go down for a while but "everything is fine now." "They put me under observation for one hour. Now I am feeling normal and everything is fine," he said as per the PTI report.
"It's our moment of reckoning, I guess, which is very humbling," Delhi nurse Biji Tomy said, according to PTI.
Gujarat paediatrician Naveen Thacker hailed the vaccination drive as "beginning of a final war." "As you can see, I have not felt any adverse effect even an hour after getting inoculated," he said.
India, which has the highest number of Covid-19 cases after the United States, plans to vaccinate around 300 million people in the first six to eight months of the year. Some 30 million healthcare and other frontline workers are first in line followed by about 270 million people older than 50 or deemed high-risk because of pre-existing medical conditions.
More than 10.5 million people in India have been infected with the coronavirus, including more than 151,000 who have died.
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