It is Time to Get the Vaccine Jab

Almost ten months after India went in to complete lockdown due to the global pandemic of coronavirus, on January 16, 2021, Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the nation-wide vaccination drive to fight the disease.

In Gurugram, till January 15, more than 57,000 people had been infected with the virus leading to 349 lives being lost. As one of the finest medical facilities hub of the country, our covid warriors, our healthcare professionals and all frontline workers have worked round the clock through the last many months. They deserve applause many folds more than what they received from people across the country on March 22, 2020, the day of Janta Curfew. It is thus rightfully their first right to be at the forefront for receiving the vaccine that will be our shield against the virus.

India received millions of covid-19 vaccine doses of Covishield, developed by Oxford AstraZeneca and procured from Serum Institute of India, Pune, starting on January 12, 2021. In addition, India’s own production Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech got an emergent approval post trials and was transported to various states on January 14, 2021.

Gurugram received about 40,000 doses of the vaccine and went live with the vaccination process on January 16. As stated by Dr. Virender Yadav, Chief Medical Officer, Gurugram, the entire 27 lakh population of Gurugram is expected to be vaccinated in the next 6 to 8 months. The new vaccine store has been made at Pataudi which will be the regional as well as the district hub. Vaccines will be sent from Pataudi store to whole of Gurugram, Faridabad, Nuh, Palwal and Rewari. In Gurgaon, 37 cold chain points have been established at various government sites like primary health institutes, urban primary health institutes, secondary district health sites, etc. In the coming months, about 180 government session sites and over 100 private sites are expected to be opened. The number of sites may change depending on the availability of the vaccine to the district.

The first phase of the inoculation process has opened for healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses, paramedics, hospital administrative staff, housekeeping and security personnel in all government and private health centres. Gurugram has the largest numbers across Haryana with over 36105 people falling in this category across the district. Currently, about 120 sites have been established where the vaccine shots will be given including 46 government facilities and 74 private hospitals of which many are at large hospitals like Medanta, Artemis, Fortis and Max hospital. Even though the process is voluntary, the health department for Gurugram is hopeful to cover a large majority of this segment in a few days across the district. Dr. Virender Yadav, Chief Medical Officer, Gurugram, Dr MP Singh, District Immunisation Officer, Gurugram, Dr. Naresh Trehan, Medanta Hospital were among the first to receive the vaccine shot.

The second stage starts after the completion of first dose round for the health workers and will cover a population of over one lakh frontline warriors like police personnel, civil defence personnel, sanitation workers and other people who were involved in covid care in administrative roles.

The vaccination process will go to public with initially registering people of age 50 and above or individuals less than 50 who have co-morbidities. While in the first two stages, the data of recipients will be registered manually into the CoWin portal at the vaccination sites by the assigned staff, henceforth the online registration will be open for individuals. Once the entry is submitted, an automated message will be received with a time slot and site allocation. In the last stage, the process will be opened to the rest of the population of under 50 years of age. The third and fourth stage will overlap to an extent and will include for over 25 lakh population across Gurugram district. It is desired that every person takes the vaccine for a 100% success rate to lead a covid-free life.

Each session site will administer covid vaccine three days of the week on Monday, Thursday and Saturday 9 am to 5 pm and will cater to not more than 100 individuals per day. The standard operating protocols will have social distancing, registration confirmation on CoWin portal, verification of documents, vaccination and minimum 30 minutes of observation to monitor any adverse effects. For every individual, once the first round of vaccine dose is taken, they will automatically be slotted to receive the second dose after 28 days. The individuals will be administered the first available vaccine at the site and will not have the choice to pick amongst Covishied or Covaxin. The repeat dose must be taken of the same vaccine which has been given before for the desired result. A certification will also be available once both vaccination cycles are fully completed.

Both the vaccines being used in the drive have gone through trials and are safe. The least side effects expected are body ache, mild fever or nausea which is similar to any other immunization vaccines. The antibodies develop in the body approximately after 42 days of completion of the second dose. The immunity created can last for 8 months to 1 year similar to any other influenza virus or swine flu vaccine. It is thus imperative that all get repeat vaccination done at least once a year so as to safeguard oneself from all latest strains of the virus and cover a wider aspect of the infection.

Vaccination process will be open for each and every individual resident of the district. Any person who has never contacted covid or had covid can take the vaccine. Only people who have active symptoms of covid at the time should avoid the process till 15 days post their recovery.

Dr. Virender Yadav, Chief Medical Officer, Gurugram

Featured on Gurgaon Community Circle page on 9.01.2021

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