Delhi

Vaccine selection process irks sanitation workers at RGSSH

At Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, random selection of people to get vaccinated irked a few sanitation workers who were waiting since morning to get the shot on Saturday.

Arun Kumar, who has been posted as a sanitation worker in the flu unit where people are tested for COVID-19, said he and his colleagues were waiting since 7 a.m. but due to some “issue” their names were not in the list on Saturday.

“They had taken our names on Friday and told us that we’ll get vaccinated today. Our supervisor is looking into the matter to correct this. I am unable to understand as to how people have been selected,” he said, adding that he is, however, sure that they’ll all get vaccinated.

Another sanitation worker, Shiv Kumar, 40, said that he got infected by COVID-19 in May and was admitted in the hospital as well.

“We have been and continue to be closely in touch with COVID-19 patients. It’s important for us and our families. They are only safe if we are. When I got infected, I stayed away from my family for a month and a half. Even today, I stay away from them for two hours after I go home,” he said.

While the sanitation workers waited, the first one to get the vaccine shot at RGSSH was Vikas Dogra, head of school of pulmonology and nodal officer for COVID-19 at the hospital, who doesn’t remember the number of times he got tested for COVID-19.

From a distance

While getting vaccinated today, he recalled spending five and a half months away from his family at the onset of the outbreak. “I didn’t go home for that time. I remember going outside my apartment and looking at them from a distance. But finally I went home because it didn’t seem to end,” he said, adding that his daughter’s birthday was also witnessed by him from a distance.

Among those who also got vaccinated was Ansar Ali, nursing orderly (NO), who stayed away from his family for seven months, living in the hospital accommodation and finally went home in November. He continues to stay away and goes only occasionally. “I hope I gather the courage to be near them again after the vaccine shot,” he said.

Shaheen Riyazuddin was another NO who got vaccinated on Saturday. She said she had joined the hospital in April and 17 days later, she was infected by COVID-19.

“I continued to work after recovering. Now, I am feeling okay about getting vaccinated. I was told by my seniors that I should feel safe,” she said.

Blood pressure

Vinish Kumar (30), nursing officer, however, said that he felt like his blood pressure fell after getting the vaccine after which he was put under observation for an hour. Later, he felt better and his vitals were also normal, doctors told him.

At the hospital, those who got vaccinated were recorded on camera before entering the hall for “record purposes” and were also given baskets with eatables, including chocolate and dry snacks.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 3:05:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/vaccine-selection-process-irks-sanitation-workers-at-rgssh/article33590681.ece

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