After months of rigour, a dose of hope for many

A health worker prepares a vaccine shot at a hospital in Delhi.   | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

The first day of the vaccination drive on Saturday was welcomed by healthcare workers as the “beginning of the end” to an ordeal that has lasted for over 10 months. From long duty hours in stuffy Personal Protective Equipment kits at COVID-19 wards to not being able to see family for weeks at a time, healthcare workers on Saturday said there was finally some “hope” after months of tribulations.

Manish Kumar, a sanitation worker at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, was the first person to get the shot at the hospital.

The 34-year-old worker, who has been working at AIIMS for the last 7-8 years, said: “It feels great to receive the vaccine. When I first found out that the vaccine was going to be given, I had volunteered to get the shot as it would help me work without any fear of contracting the infection. There are no side-effects as of now. The hospital also motivated us to take the vaccine. My mother is also a sanitation worker here and even she has enrolled for the vaccination drive.”

Romil Saini, a senior resident in the psychiatry department, said: “There were times when we had month-long duties. Trauma centre duty was the most difficult while wearing PPE kits. The burden was immense when the virus was at its peak. Now that the vaccine is available, one can say that it is the ‘beginning of the end’.”

“I got to visit my family in December for the first time since the pandemic began. I am happy to receive the vaccine. Up till now, there has been no side effects,” said Dr. Saini, who lives in Haryana.

‘Had no doubts’

Najafgarh resident Bijay Kumar Yadav, a member of the hospital administration, said: “I had no doubts about the vaccine. We have been working since the beginning without any breaks and at this point we cannot take a step back as it will not be good for the country.”

While most doctors said that they had no apprehensions of taking the vaccine, some who got vaccinated cautioned that the efficacy would be determined only after the second dose.

Roshan Mathew, a senior resident in the emergency medicine department, said: “There are some common side effects with every vaccine, so some minor ones might be there but serious adverse effects should be rare. We are required to take two doses, hence, after the first shot, one cannot be completely sure. However, I am feeling hopeful and will continue to take precautions that I have been taking all these months. Though there was slight apprehension in the beginning, after the vaccine, we are hopeful.”

Sense of security

Stating that healthcare workers have remained anxious over the past several months, Kanika Jain, who works with the hospital administration said, “We were extremely anxious over the last few months, specially while returning home as there was a risk of infection spread to our family members. While the first dose feels fine as of now, there will be a sense of security after the second dose. It will take at least 42 days for the actual efficacy of the vaccine to get determined.”

At Safdarjung Hospital, Poornima Tiwari, who works in the community medicine department, said: “As of now there have been no side effects and it feels fine. All these months we were distressed with the thought of carrying the infection back home. Once the second dose is administered, there will be some sort of assurance.”

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 5:14:34 AM |

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