KOCHI: Ernakulam, which reported the highest numbers in Covid cases during most of last year, heaved a sigh of relief as the massive vaccination drive commenced on Saturday. Senior doctors who took the shot imparted confidence and urged more people to come forward without apprehensions for the vaccination.Dr Jose Chacko Periappuram, renowned heart transplant surgeon, who was the first to receive the shot at the Ernakulam General Hospital, urged people to come forward without any qualms.
“At this moment, this is the ideal thing to do. There is no need for any apprehension, as there won’t be any major side effects. There was no discomfort whatsoever after taking the shot. There is a lot of fake news circulating on social media relating to vaccines. Being in the medical field, I can assure that it is very unlikely that the vaccinations can have any major side effects. As we struggle in the tight grip of Covid-19, this is the only solution in front of us, and this is a small risk we all are willing to take,” said Dr Jose.
Meanwhile, Dr Junaid Rahman, senior doctor and former DMO of Ernakulam, who had tested positive for Covid-19 last year and had battled through the illness, said he was relieved to get the jab. “The health sector has been working round-the-clock during the Covid-19 fight, which still continues. The arrival of the vaccine gives a lot of relief and boosts the morale of healthcare workers, who have devoted endless hours at hospitals, staying away from their loved ones. Battling Covid-19 was tough, and while I am glad that I crossed that phase without grave issues, the same may not be the case with others. Therefore, all frontline workers should come forward and get vaccinated,” said Dr Junaid.
Deputy DMO Dr Savita and General Hospital Superintendent Dr A Anita were also amongst the first to get the shots. “There was no discomfort after taking the vaccine. I recalled my childhood days, when my parents used to drag me for getting vaccinations. It is quite usual for some to develop symptoms of fever and discomfort, but there will not be any major side-effects,” said Dr A Anita.
In the first phase, 63,000 registered health workers in the district will be vaccinated. In the coming days, the district administration will increase the number of vaccination centres. Towards this, around 260 venues have been identified in the district.