Four out of five cops in Bengaluru are fully vaccinated | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Despite initial hesitancy arising from fear of side effects, a remarkable 18,296 (or 96%) of the 18,985-strong Bengaluru city police have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while 15,129 (80%) have received both doses as on Thursday.
Besides police personnel, thousands of others working in the police department including staff in the control rooms, command centres, home guards and City Armed Reserve have received the first dose.
The task hasn’t been easy. It took weeks of persuasion and goading by senior officers including the city police commissioner himself to convince personnel to take the jab.
Many officers led by example and took the shot to drive home the message that the benefits far outweighed perceived risks.
Kamal Pant, Bengaluru police commissioner, said he repeatedly requested his men to get inoculated.
Pant said safety of personnel was paramount, and therefore, made it clear to his additional commissioners and deputy commissioners (DCPs) to ensure their staff were vaccinated.
“There were many myths about side effects. To overcome this and to show the shot was perfectly safe, Praveen Sood, director general and inspector general, and I received our first dose on February 8. Two days later, I made it a point to personally interact with my additional commissioners and DCPs, to show I was fit and fine,” Pant said.
He said despite his efforts, many were still reluctant. “So, we decided to take vaccines to their doorstep. We arranged camps at police stations and asked staff to interact with doctors and get their doubts cleared. These camps helped immensely. DCPs periodically monitored the vaccination drive in their respective jurisdiction,” he said.
Pant said officers also encouraged family members of personnel to get vaccinated. As a result, 18,182 kin, who are above 45 years of age, got their first dose. “Similarly, 17,915 family members in the 18-44 years group also got the first dose,” he said.
Many inspectors, sub-inspectors, assistant sub-inspectors and constables admitted they feared side effects as most of them were battling health issues like diabetes and high blood pressure.
“But our seniors including DCPs helped us overcome our doubts. Doctors who interacted with us too were a great help in exorcising our fears,” they said.
Sanjeev M Patil, DCP (west), recalled how he deliberately visited stations after receiving the first dose.
“I waited for two days after the first dose and then began visiting as many stations as I could in my jurisdiction to show I was fine. I asked every staff member if s/he got the jab and if they said no, I would explain the benefits to them. It took several such visits to get them all vaccinated,” Patil

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Sagar Biswas

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