The vaccination drive against novel coronavirus has begun and the first ones to get the jabs were those who have been in the forefront in fighting the pandemic. They received the first shot of vaccination on 16 January and shared their experience with us.

The pan-India massive vaccination drive against Covid-19 began from January 16. Hospitals had prepared for it beforehand, they followed guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health for the vaccination process, trained the team and did dry runs, some hospitals formed Adverse Effects committee, set up Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) room or made special arrangements to deal with side effects. For a smooth process, each hospital has a pre-vaccination waiting area, vaccination room and observation area. Taking a leap of faith, many healthcare workers including doctors and medical staff from hospitals across the country came forward to get the vaccination dose. They are urging that if given a chance, people should get the vaccine shot. Scientists have worked hard for the vaccine and doctors are leading by example so people should not hesitate to go for the vaccination.

Talking about the vaccination drive, Dr Shreevidya Venkatraman, senior consultant-Internal Medicine, MGM Healthcare, Chennai said, “Covid-19 is here to stay. Covid cases are less but as seen in Europe, the peak is expected in March/April. Vaccination against Covid-19 is our best option. Safety and efficacy of the Covid vaccines have been proven. Mild malaise, fever, and local pain may be expected. So far we have not seen any major hypersensitivity reactions after the administration of the Covid vaccines.” Health professionals including doctors, who were vaccinated at Manipal Hospital, Dwarka, Delhi, said that they are upbeat as the final assault on coronavirus has begun and this will create a strong safeguard against the infectious disease. Dr Pankaj Dhamija, Centre head, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road, Mumbai said, “The news of vaccination has certainly given hopes to people. We are proud to be a part of this vaccination drive and committed to working round-the-clock for the betterment of the patients. Coronavirus vaccination will protect people by creating an antibody (immune system) response without getting sick by the virus.”

Doctors and healthcare workers share their first-hand experience with us about receiving the first shot of Covid-19 vaccine:

It is a moment of victory for the war against Coronavirus. I was excited and eagerly waiting for these vaccines to be made available. When this initiation of vaccination news arrived I was upbeat and after going through all the information I readied myself to get vaccinated. The process was well organised and meticulous. I took the first dose of Covisheild vaccine at 10.30 am on Saturday at Indian Spinal Injuries Centre. I was made comfortable and all the information was given. I am doing fine and feeling confident.

— Dr Gururaj Sangothimath, spine surgeon, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, Vasant Kunj, Delhi

There was certainly an apprehension about taking the vaccine initially in terms of efficacy and reaction. There were misconceptions and after discussions with doctors, everyone came forward to take the vaccine jab. We were made to wait for 30 minutes post the vaccination for any adverse effects after which I experienced mild nausea and gastritis. I was completely fine after an hour of vaccination.

— Dr Prakash K.N., Chief of Medical Services, Columbia Asia Hospital Hebbal, Bengaluru

It feels good to be the first person to be vaccinated in the vaccination site at BLK Super Speciality Hospital. It was just like any other shot that one would have taken. We were really looking forward to this and the process was pretty smooth.

— Dr Sandeep Nayar, Senior Director, Centre for Chest and Respiratory Disease, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Pusa Road, Delhi

I am glad that I was the first one to get the vaccination at Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital. I did not feel any sign of anxiety or reaction. Everyone should get the vaccine shot and even after the vaccination, people must follow the safety guidelines issued by the government.

— Ashutosh Chaturvedi, Emergency Nursing Head, Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, Delhi

I was the first one to get vaccinated at Aakash Healthcare. I was vaccinated at 11:10 am on Saturday and was told to sit for 30 minutes to check if I have got any adverse effects of the vaccine. The government officials assigned were constantly checking with me for any side effects. I had no side effects in my body and I am fine since I got the vaccine shot. I started working after getting vaccination and not experienced any problem. I am having no interruptions due to the vaccine in walking, eating, or working. This is a very appreciable step that the government has taken for healthcare workers.

— Anita Ryder, Support Services Department, Aakash Healthcare Super Specialty Hospital, Dwarka, Delhi


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