711 health workers vaccinated in Ernakulam

A health worker submitting her identity card before receiving the first Covishield shot at the District Ayurveda Hospital, Ernakulam, on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

On the day the COVID-19 vaccination drive was rolled out, 711 health workers were inoculated in Ernakulam on Saturday.

Senior cardiothoracic surgeon Jose Chacko Periappuram was the first to receive the Covishield vaccine at the Ernakulam General Hospital. Addressing the media after walking out of the vaccination booth, Dr. Periappuram said the jab was merely a prick that was hardly felt and he did not experience any immediate side effects. “When more people get vaccinated, we will be able to resist the spread of the infection better,” he said, adding that there was no need to fear the shot.

The staff at the hospital, including superintendent Dr. A. Anitha, a few health officials in the district, and District Medical Officer N.K. Kuttappan received the shot in the morning at the palliative care block of the hospital where the vaccination booth has been set up.

Health officials said no adverse effects were reported in the district. In two cases, there had been some mild giddiness that passed quickly, but that was chalked up to the anxiety of receiving the vaccine, health officials said. Most health workers who were on duty on the day returned to work right after receiving the vaccine.

Around 1,022 health workers were assigned to the 12 centres to take the shot on Saturday. Some health workers might not have turned up for it, since a few people were not on duty or were out of town, said Dr. M.G. Sivadas, Reproductive and Child Health Officer for the district, who is also the nodal officer for the vaccination and was among the first to receive the dose at the Ernakulam General Hospital. “Besides, since this is a new vacccine, some amount of hesitation is expected. Some people might have chosen to wait for a little longer before getting it,” he added.

Technical glitches on the Co-WIN platform, meant that messages did not go out to some recipients on Saturday informing them of the time and place of vaccination. Health workers at some centres contacted recipients directly. It was a nation-wide issue and was fixed post noon, Dr. Sivadas said.

Ernakulam had the maximum number centres (12) in the State on Saturday. Additional centres will be begin functioning from Monday onwards, said District Collector S. Suhas, who was at the General Hospital when the vaccination drive kicked off. The vaccination booth at the Urban Primary Health Centre at Kadavanthra is staffed by health workers from Amrita Institute of Medical Science, in an effort to handle staff limitations at the PHC. A total of 225 centres have been inspected and readied so far.

Responses were mixed among health workers who received the shot or were waiting to receive it. Rajeev, a guard at the General Hospital, who was to get the shot around noon, was nonchalant about it and said he considered it to be similar to a tetanus shot. Alphonsa, an ASHA worker who received the dose at the Urban Primary Health Centre, Kadavanthra, said she had been nervous initially, but later realised that the jab was no different from any other injection and did not warrant any anxiety.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 4:15:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/711-health-workers-vaccinated-in-ernakulam/article33591113.ece

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