374 beneficiaries inoculated on Day 1 of Covid-19 vaccination drive in Chandigarh

GMCH-16 safai karamchari receives the first jab; 109 get vaccine shot at PGIMER

Naina Mishra

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16

On the first day of the Covid-19 vaccination drive, 374 healthcare workers were inoculated in Chandigarh against the upper limit of 500 beneficiaries that were to be vaccinated at five sites.

At GMSH-16, 100 beneficiaries got the vaccine shot, while 70 people were vaccinated at Civil Hospital in Sector 45. Forty-five beneficiaries received the vaccination at GMCH-32 site 1 and 50 others were given the vaccine dose at GMCH-32 site 2.  

At PGIMER, 109 beneficiaries were immunised.

Arun, a safai karamchari at GMCH-16, who was working at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19 all these months, got the first jab.

“I was quite apprehensive since morning about the adverse events related to vaccine. But as soon as I received the first shot and spent 30 minutes in observation room, all anxieties withered away,” said the 20-year-old.  

“I did not feel even the slightest reaction from the injection. Rest, I have been told to take all precautions as the antibodies will take some time to form. I have also been told to contact doctors in case I feel any reaction from the vaccine and come back for second dose after 28 days,” Arun added.

The turnout at GMCH-32 was just over 47 per cent as only 95 out of 200 healthcare workers asked to get vaccinated were immunised on Day 1 of the drive.  

Director, GMCH-32, Dr Jaswinder Kaur, who received the vaccine shot along with her husband, who heads Pulmonary Medicine, said: “It is a great feeling to be vaccinated against Covid-19. At our hospital, many senior doctor couples took the vaccination together.”

Talking about the tepid response on the first day, Dr Deepak Chawla, nodal officer at the GMCH-32, said, “Those who would come forward to receive the vaccine during the initial days would be early adopters. Those who missed receiving the dose due to apprehension or any other reason will be rescheduled. As the confidence builds in the vaccine and vaccine hesitancy decreases, a tipping point will be reached.”

Director Health Services Amandeep Kang; Medical Superintendent, GMSH-16, VK Nagpal; senior doctors; and IMA present and past presidents were among the beneficiaries who got vaccinated on Saturday.

One of oldest beneficiaries to get vaccinated on the first day of the drive was a 70-year-old retired doctor from GMSH-16, Dr Ashok Gupta.

“I am feeling quite assured after the vaccination. Now, I will be able to do justice with my patients without any fear of Covid-19 transmission,” said Dr Gupta.

Dr Manjinder Singh Randhawa, a resident posted at Paediatric Emergency, received the first shot at PGI. He urged others to have faith in Science and opt for vaccination.

Minor issues

The vaccination drive went off without any major adverse event at all the session sites, said the authorities concerned.

However, there were three minor episodes – two recipients felt nausea and one felt dizziness. The cases settled of their own and no active the intervention was needed, stated the UT authorities, adding that all the beneficiaries left the session sites in good health after an observation period of 30 minutes.

Dr Amandeep Kang said that any adverse event like allergic reaction happens within 30 minutes only. All reported minor events settled without intervention.

Dr SS Pandav, who is heading the Covid-19 immunisation drive, also took the vaccination. “Not even a single minor event was reported at PGI,” said Dr Pandav. 

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