Sanitation workers, top doctors take the first few jabs


Sanitation and ‘D’ Group workers were the first ones to be inoculated in each of the 243 centres where vaccination began on Saturday.

While 41-year-old Chandrashekar Rao, a cook in the canteen of K.C. General Hospital, was the first one to take the jab in the State, Nagaratna K., 28, a ward attendant at Victoria hospital, received the vaccine in the presence of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi and Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar.

Mr. Yediyurappa and other dignitaries greeted Ms. Nagaratna, who hails from a village near Bidadi, with roses after she received the vaccine.

Mr. Chandrashekar Rao said he was proud to be the first one to get the vaccine. “I was infected with COVID-19 earlier and have recovered. I had resolved to take the vaccine whenever it is made available and am lucky to get it first. I call upon everyone to take the vaccine without any fear, as this will help us prevent transmission,” he said.

Ms. Nagaratna said she did not know till Saturday morning that she would be the first to get the jab in Victoria hospital. “I have not developed any side-effects and everyone should take this,” she said.

Srinivas Ballari, a Group ‘D’ employee who was the first to get the jab at KIMS Hospital, said, “I was happy but at the same was a bit afraid thinking about the possible side-effects. However, our director and other staff cleared my misconceptions. I am absolutely fine.”

In Mysuru, 28-year-old Sandesh U., an ambulance driver at K.R. Hospital, who ferried hundreds of bodies of COVID-19 victims, was amongst the first to be vaccinated. “I am now relieved that I will be protected from the disease,” he said.

In Hassan and Shivamogga, Covaxin was administered in 10 and nine centres, respectively after beneficiaries signed consent letters. D. Yashwanth, a Group ‘D’ employee of Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences was the first person to get a dose.

Top doctors

Several doctors and health experts, including nephrologist and chairman of Manipal Hospitals Sudarshan Ballal, M.K. Sudarshan, who heads the State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), and V. Ravi, who is also part of the TAC, got vaccinated on the first day.

Dr. Ballal said, “The vaccinators’ team was very very professional. The procedure was explained in detail, including the possible side-effects. We were observed and checked by a doctor for half-an-hour after the procedure. It has been many hours since the vaccination and I am feeling fine,” he said.

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Dr. Ravi advised people not to be carried away by rumours on social media. “Several rumours and malice are doing the rounds. This may harm the vaccination programme. Let all of us join hands and fight COVID-19 together,” he said.

Some complain of pain, giddiness

A few of those who got vaccinated on Day 1 developed minor problems such as giddiness, severe headache, fatigue and pain near the spot where they were injected.

Four healthcare workers, who got vaccinated in PMSSY hospital, complained of giddiness soon after the vaccination. PMSSY Special Officer P.G. Girish said this could be due to fear and anxiety. “It was a minor issue and they did not need any medication. We observed them for half-an-hour, and they were alright later,” he said.

Sources said a few healthcare workers, who got vaccinated in NIMHANS, complained of severe headache and fatigue. Some others had pain near the spot where they were injected.

Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar said no major adverse events following immunisation were reported. He said minor pain and giddiness were common with any vaccination. None needed any medication, he added.

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Sagar Biswas

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