Chennai

Coronavirus: A timely word for the support staff

Anna Nagar resident Rekha Vaidhyanathan runs a restaurant — Dessert Addiction — with three employees, all of them aged below 45.

Rekha quizzed them about whether the older population — particularly, their parents and parents-in-laws — at their home had taken the vaccination.

They answered in the negative, and Rekha arranged for a doctor-friend to drop in at the restaurant.

It was an AMA with the doctor, who spoke to them patiently about the science around vaccination and the necessity of getting vaccinated.

“We need to understand that people may be hesitant when they are trying out something new. Before encouraging them to get vaccinated, it is important to remove the fears around it from their mind,” says Rekha, adding that the doctor clarifying various question should have helped them.

There are also cases of residents dropping their domestic help and other helpers in their employment, at the nearest UPHC for vaccination. Another recurrent feature of the season is residents giving their domestic help an extra off day, so that they could be home taking care of themselves through the expected minor side effects. For instance, the Arunachalams, who live in Tambaram, gave their cook and helper a day off from work.

Of the 150 people who got vaccinated during a drive organised by the residents of Valmiki Nagar in coordination with an Urban Primary Health Centre, a good number were support staff — watchmen, house maids, drivers and vendors.

“When health officials refused to offer the jab to some of the support staff from our colony, we had residents go with them and speak to the officials on their behalf,” says Jayanthi Premchandar, resident-volunteer, Valmiki Nagar.

The fact that the camp was organised, she says, within walking distance from their workplace, was a big driver in getting them to get vaccinated.

Says Jayanthi, “We wanted them to make the most of it, and they did.”


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 12:10:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/coronavirus-a-timely-word-for-the-support-staff/article34398826.ece

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