KOCHI: Heralding a much-anticipated return to life as it was, the vaccination drive commenced in Ernakulam on Saturday, with 711 health workers being administered the Covishield vaccine at 12 centres in the district. While arrangements had been made in each centre to facilitate vaccination for 100 health workers, 489 could not turn up due to various reasons.Ernakulam district has the most number of health workers registered for the vaccination, and health officials are expecting a rise in numbers in the coming days, with more centres being allotted.
Dr Jose Periappuram, renowned heart transplant surgeon at Lisie Hospital, was the first to get the shot at Ernakulam General Hospital. Later, health workers registered under the CoWIN app at the GH were administered the vaccine. The vaccination process began after the national inaugural speech by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
At Ernakulam GH, which is one of the main centres in the district, arrangements were made at the Palliative Care Block. After ID verification, health workers were guided to the vaccination rooms. After getting the shot, the vaccinated persons were retained in the waiting room area for half an hour, to rule out any immediate discomfort. Around 1,200 health workers were expected to get the shot on the first day.
“Various reasons, including personal issues, apprehensions, fear of the needle, commuting problems or just cold feet, today being the first day, could have kept people back. In the coming days, we are expecting more health workers to come forward and we are increasing the number of vaccination centres in the district as well,” said a health official.
In the first phase, 63,000 health workers will receive the shot. The selection process of the health workers was a difficult task for the Health Department. Firstly, health institutions were given directions to submit the details of health workers borne on their rolls. These details were entered in an Excel sheet and the data was uploaded to the central server under the coordination wing of the District Task Force. As per the officials, health workers selected on the basis of this data got preference for the first phase of vaccination.