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The vaccine round

Surmounting vaccine hesitancy, I at last got vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. A few weeks ago, I, along with my sister, reached the government hospital for the injection. Disregarding all plausible negative news and views, we reached the vaccination centre, but to our utter disappointment, were informed that the hospital had run out of vaccines. I was quite astonished because a month ago even many health workers expressed their reluctance to be jabbed after getting their names registered for vaccination.

However, people’s soaring enthusiasm for vaccination apparently caused by the apprehension of a second wave of the pandemic enhanced my confidence and made me an ardent vaccine taker. We went to another vaccination centre on the municipality premises. Fortunately, we got the chance to be vaccinated in place of a couple of absentees who had enlisted their names early in the morning but failed to turn up. A sullen-faced clerk who was checking the Aadhaar cards as age proof beckoned us to sit and wait in the chairs in the long, narrow antechamber.

In the meantime, the clerk was entangled in a debate with a person already vaccinated with the first dose 28 days ago. The man wanted to be jabbed for the second time on the due date mentioned in his vaccination slip. But the young clerk was trying to convince him that the gap between vaccine doses had been revised to four to eight weeks. Their loud dispute necessitated the intervention of a senior medic.

A sinister silence fell on the vaccination centre as if a hushed-up business had been going on. The narrow room became congested gradually as most of the persons were waiting about 30 minutes or more after vaccination to be kept under observation. However, there was nobody to monitor the vaccinated persons. At last, I felt serendipitous when our turn came. We got vaccinated.

While waiting, I came across a medical officer of my personal acquaintance who happened to arrive in the centre to supervise the overall vaccination programme.

As I had already been vaccinated with the first dose, I could not restrain my inquisitiveness to ask a series of questions about the vaccination to cast off the confusion that clouded my thoughts. When I wanted to know if the vaccine would provide long-term protection, he informed me that as the matter was under research, it was too early to say the duration of protection.

He dealt with my second query on the benefits of getting vaccinated quite aptly. According to him, the vaccines produce protection against the disease as a result of developing an immune response to SARS-CoV-2. He continued that developing immunity through vaccination means there is a reduced risk of developing the illness and its consequences. This immunity helps us fight the virus if exposed. However, his seeming reluctance to answer the rest of my series of questions discouraged me to go further.

In the COVID-19 vaccination slip, the gap between my first and second doses was 47 days. I returned home with my mind in peace that I was at least jabbed with the first dose.

Hapless paucity in the supply of vaccines has now mired the drive. In our district, including in our town, the first dose vaccination has been put off for insufficient supply of vaccines. Even some first dose vaccinated persons could not be jabbed the second one within the due date mentioned in their slips. Naturally, a new concern has embedded in my mind whether I will be jabbed the same vaccine for the second time smoothly.

nandi.budha@gmail.com


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 11:12:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/the-vaccine-round/article34515384.ece

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