COVID-19 | Vaccine joy for some, anticipation for others

When the family of S. Kishtamma found out she would be taking COVID-19 vaccine on day 1 of the immunisation drive on January 16, they raised objection. The 42-year-old has been working as a sanitation worker at Gandhi Hospital, a COVID care centre, but has managed to stay safe so far. However, she came forward to take the vaccine.

At a meeting held on Friday, she told the hospital administration that she and her colleagues would take the vaccine on the first day after doctors and nurses get inoculated. However, Ms Kishtamma learnt on Saturday morning that she will be the first vaccine recipient at the hospital. She went ahead and got the first dose.

On Saturday, she was the centre of attention at the hospital as mediapersons eargerly waited to speak to her. After about two-and-half-hours of taking the jab, and taking calls from family members and speaking to the media in between, Ms Kishtamma said she did not experience any discomfort post vaccination.

Standing around her, her colleagues in the sanitation wing recalled how they spent several weeks at the hospital during the COVID-induced lockdown as their neighbours did not allow them to enter their homes. Working in COVID wards was held against them.

Anaesthetist Ch. Nagarjuna was among the 30 healthcare workers at Gandhi Hospital to take the vaccine. The doctor said that he used to attend COVID-19 patients in the ICU.

Junior doctor A. Lohith Reddy also took the vaccine. A post graduate student specialising in pediatrics, he continues to attend children under 12 years with COVID-19. He too has managed not to contract COVID-19. However, he is waiting for the day where he can move around without a mask and maintaining other precautions.

Mr Lohith said he was eager to take the vaccine since vaccines have been successfully used to control other diseases.

Director of Medical Education K. Ramesh Reddy and director of Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences Vimala Thomas also got immunised. Dr Ramesh Reddy said he took the vaccine as a measure to build confidence among masses.

Apart from the staff, Superintendent of Osmania General Hospital B. Nagender, Government General and Chest Hospital superintendent Mahaboob Khan, nodal officer for COVID-19 at the hospital M. Narender, and heads of other hospitals took the jab.

Dr Nagender and Dr Narender both contracted and recovered from COVID-19 a few months ago. The latter said that when he got checked, antibodies levels in him against coronavirus were zero. The COVID nodal officer hoped that the antibodies will develop after the vaccination.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 4:40:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/covid-19-vaccine-joy-for-some-anticipation-for-others/article33590013.ece

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