‘I was slightly scared but someone had to do it’

Vaccination drive at GTB Hospital on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

A 39-year-old nursing officer who had gotten infected while on duty, a 50-year-old sanitation worker, and a 32-year-old senior resident doctor were among those who got vaccinated at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital on Saturday.

Akhilesh Sharma, nursing officer at GTB Hospital for the last 10 years, who practically lived with COVID-19 patients while on duty since the outbreak, emphasised the importance of the vaccine and said that he has been at the forefront of the fight against the deadly virus and was now ready to be among the first ones to get vaccinated for others to see the results.

“I was slightly scared but someone had to do it. I feel absolutely okay after getting the vaccine. They had asked me about my medical history and gave me the shot only after they found me fit to be vaccinated,” he said.

Away from children

Before getting vaccinated, Mr. Sharma recalled the difficult time his family had to face when he and wife – also a nursing officer here – were found to be infected two months ago.

“Mine was a severe infection and I was hospitalised for six days while my wife had quarantined herself at home. We had sent our children to their grandparents’ house. They are four and eight years old and couldn’t even understand what was happening. It was a tough time,” he said, adding that his wife is more scared and he is trying to convince her that if the “Prime Minister is endorsing the vaccine then she shouldn’t worry”.


Mr. Sharma said that after the second shot of vaccine followed by 14 days observation period, he’ll finally be able to hug his children “freely without a thought”. “We still maintain distance at home with our children. Hopefully, after the vaccine, there’ll be some ease even if we’ll still follow protocol”.

An anxious Amravati Devi, a sanitation worker at a nursing college, brought her friend, a lift operator, much before she was given a call to come to the waiting room before getting vaccinated. “I am nervous but I want to get the vaccine shot to feel safe. My daughter cheered me up this morning before I left for work,” she said.

Walked 15 km to work

Ms. Amravati recounted walking 15 km from her residence in Khoda Colony to the hospital during the lockdown. “It was a very difficult time. I used to walk all the way because there was no transport. I suffered blisters on my feet. I had also shared the problem with the seniors after which they had asked me to come alternatively,” she recalled.

But she was glad that she and her family members didn’t get infected by the virus and will most probably won’t get infected now after the vaccine. “There’s negativity around getting the vaccine but I hope all goes well”.

Transparent manner

The first to get the shot at GTB Hospital was Akansha Rathor, a senior resident, who had no idea that she would be the first one to get inoculated.

“I had a very minor pain at the time of vaccine. I am feeling normal… just like before and I would like to tell everyone that there’s nothing to be scared of. Trials have happened before. We’ll see in the coming days if we feel okay,” she said., adding that there will be no difference in the way she conducts herself around her mother who lives with her even after the vaccine. “I’ll maintain distance. Vaccine doesn’t mean I’ll take my guard off,” she said.

At the hospital, the selection process was transparent and in alphabetical order. All those with their names starting with ‘A’ were called in for vaccination on Day 1. Medical director R.S. Rautela and his team supervised the centre round the clock.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 4:47:27 AM |

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