Only 24 recipients of the vaccine reported minor reactions. Three of them had to be hospitalised. According to a government report, two of the 274 people administered Covaxin at six centres complained of side-effects and were hospitalised, while 22 of 5,668 people given Covishield at 75 centres did the same, and one required hospitalisation. A Lok Nayak Hospital official said one individual admitted in the hospital was stable.
A Delhi government health department official said most of those vaccinated had resumed work as normal and the percentage of people reporting adverse events was very low. Efforts are under way to persuade more healthcare workers to get the shots and officials believe the turnout will increase in the coming days. A government official, “We hadn’t been trained to handle walk-in vaccination candidates. Many arrived and Thursday’s turnout was high.”
At Lok Nayak Hospital, all 100 of the 100 listed for the procedure got the shot. Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director, the inoculated healthcare workers included 18 walk-ins. “We have been encouraging the workers to accept the vaccine because it is totally safe,” said Kumar.
The fourth day of the vaccination drive saw a good turnout in the hospitals where staff of government dispensaries and aaganwadi and Asha workers and prison staff had to report for the injection. At DDU Hospital, Manoj Jakhad, a municipal corporation dispensary staff, brightly reported, “I am happy at being vaccinated because I have to work with people on the ground.” Mukesh Kumar and his four colleagues reached Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital around noon after receiving a phone call informing them of their turn in the vaccination booth. “Either today or another day, we have to take the vaccine,” said Kumar. Friend Sulekha added, “Our chance to get vaccinated came early. At least, now if we get more Covid-related duties, we can work without feeling scared.”
Dr Chhavi Gupta, outsourcing head at Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, walked in to be jabbed and claimed that many healthcare workers were willing to get the shot but their names were not being selected by the Co-WIN app. They plan now to walk in for the injections, she said. Abhishek Mishra, senior resident, orthopaedic department, Lok Nayak Hospital, also volunteered for the vaccination on Thursday. “It’s better to get vaccinated for our own safety. The process is easy and comfortable,” he said.
Dr Raman Grover, 64, medical officer in charge of the maternal and childcare centre at Katra Neel in Chandni Chowk, went to Lok Nayak Hospital for his chance at protection. She said, “We have faith in the system and vaccine. If we don’t take the shot, people will think we are evading the vaccine. We have to set an example for others.”
AAP MLA Raghav Chadha reviewed the programme at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. “As CM Arvind Kejriwal has said, we must believe when the experts say the vaccine is safe to use,” Chadha said. “It would serve everyone well to not fall in the trap of rumour mongers.”