Hyderabad, Jan 16 : After leading the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic for nearly a year, healthcare workers were once again on the front this time to take vaccine and allay apprehension about its safety and efficacy.
Healthcare workers of public health facilities in Telangana took the first shot on Saturday not just to get protection for themselves but also to send out a message to their colleagues and other frontline workers.
Despite doubts being expressed over the safety of vaccine and apprehensions over the adverse reactions it may trigger, they came forward to take the first shot.
Majority of over 3,600 beneficiaries on the first day were sanitation workers, security personnel at various government hospitals and healthcare workers at primary health centres in urban and rural areas.
Sanitation worker S. Kishtamma, who was administered the first shot at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad, was apprehensive as she was enrolled as the first beneficiary but the hospital superintendent reassured her.
"My children advised me not to take the vaccine on the first day and wait for few days. Even my colleagues in the hospital had apprehensions about the vaccine," said Kishtamma.
The beneficiary said Hospital Superintendent Dr Raja Rao encouraged her to take the first shot. He assured her that there is nothing to worry as the vaccine is totally safe. "This gave me confidence and I decided to take the first vaccine so that others also get the courage to come forward," said Kishtamma.
The hospital employee said she had no health complaint after taking the vaccine. The hospital superintendent had assured her that hospital will take all the responsibility in case of any problem.
"I urge all my colleagues and staff in other hospitals to come forward and take the vaccine as it is totally safe," she said.
Kishtamma was administered the first dose after state Health Minister Eatala Rajender launched the vaccinaton programme in presence of union minister of state for home G. Kishan Reddy and Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar.
K. Jayamma, an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM), received the first vaccine shot at Rural Health Centre at Narsingi on Hyderabad outskirts. She came forward to take the vaccine as she wanted to allay apprehensions among people about the vaccine.
"I wanted to show that this vaccine is totally safe. My family members also encouraged me," said Jayamma.
Senior officials also came forward to take the vaccine to send a message to all their colleagues in the health department.
Director of medical education Ramesh Reddy took the vaccine at Osmania Hospital.
"This gave me a sense of confidence and I urge all to come forward to take the vaccine which is not only totally safe but will give us protection by developing antibodies," he said.
Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM) Director Shankar, Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) Director Vimala Thomas, Osmania General Hospital Director Nagender and Government Chest Hospital Director Mahaboob were among the top officials who took the vaccine jabs on the first day.