‘It’s time to shed apprehensions about vaccine’

‘It’s time to shed apprehensions about vaccine’

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 18

From serving as a frontline warrior during Covid-19 outbreak to now being the nodal vaccination officer, who received her first shot recently, life has come full circle for Dr Indu Bala.

A general surgeon posted in Jalandhar, the doctor was among the first batch of medical professionals, who received the first shot of Covid vaccination on Saturday.

Dr Bala was deputed at the Civil Hospital, when the very first Covid patients — residents of Virk village and relatives of Nawanshahr-based Baldev Singh (Punjab’s first Covid case) — were reported in Jalandhar. She also remained deputed during the reportage of subsequent initial patients — daughter of Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa as well as the 70-year-old Nijatam Nagar woman.

Dr Indu said: “I was among the first batch of doctors to begin working at the isolation ward when the national emergency was declared on March 21. We spent a considerable time in much anxiety. We have seen so many deaths. My own sister-in-law remained admitted to the hospital for a month. Since no one had ever witnessed this kind of a pandemic in their lifetime, people were scared. Families were scared. Eventually the panic has subsided and things are getting smooth.”

She goes on to add: “Initially, we worked with OT gowns too and then later PPE kits arrived. After those initial gloomy days, the arrival of the vaccine is like a breath of fresh air. While there were a lot of negativity regarding the vaccine, I believe things will change quickly.”

Now spearheading the team of officials who carry out the vaccination drive, Dr Bala said: “It was a very happy occasion for me. We finally got the shots after a year of hard work. We planned days ahead for the vaccination drive and the process is going on smoothly in the district.”

On myths about the vaccine and many health workers still not turning up to vaccinate themselves, she said: “I have myself taken the shots. So, people should have a positive approach towards it. This is the moment we have been waiting for. We are administering the Covishield vaccine in Jalandhar. We have adequate facilities and trained staff administering the vaccine in Jalandhar. People can take a cue from us, who have already been vaccinated. The biggest thing is that this vaccine is being administered for free.”

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