Health staff back at work after the jab

Salma* is back at work at the Malakpet Area Hospital. “I feel good. There is no pain or anything else. Nothing has changed. All of my colleagues took the vaccine,” she says as she goes about her task.

She is among the dozens of sanitary workers, staff nurses, ward boys, ANMs and ASHA workers who got vaccinated. Anganwadi teachers, ICDS staff, village level workers and support staff make for a majority of recipients of the vaccine in the State.

While Aadhaar, PAN Card, bank passbook and Voter IDs have been used for identifying the beneficiaries, the consent by a large number of recipients is in the form of thumb impressions.

Wait-and-watch strategy

“I am afraid of taking the vaccine. There are 20 vaccines that will be ready soon. I will wait till March before deciding which one to take,” says a medical worker attached to one of the Primary Health Centres in the city. Part of the reluctance among healthcare workers is their access to information about the steps to be taken in the aftermath of Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI).

The document circulated among the medical staff lays out three states of AEFI — minor, severe, and serious. The protocol also includes the method of reporting AEFI through the Co-WIN app by the vaccinator on the vaccinator’s module.

While the healthcare staff are worried, some said they are under pressure to get vaccinated. “There is pressure on us to get vaccinated. We have to share identity details which are uploaded on an app. We are being told that if we don’t take the vaccine, our postings will be affected in the long term,” said another healthcare worker.

Incidentally, frontline workers who have recovered from COVID-19 are being kept out of the current vaccination drive.

(*Name changed to protect privacy)

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 5:54:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/health-staff-back-at-work-after-the-jab/article33620694.ece

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