Chennai, Jan 16 (IANS) In order to allay any apprehensions about the two vaccines for coronavirus heads of government and private hospitals in Tamil Nadu took the needle jab and led by example for fellow professionals and the general public.
“If there had been a massive demand for the vaccine, I would have taken the shot last. But here, one has to create confidence in the minds of people and I opted to be the first to get the poke,” Jayanthi Rangarajan, Dean, Tamil Nadu Government Multi Super Specialty Hospital told IANS.
According to her, 70 frontline healthcare workers took the Covishield shot on Saturday.
Rangarajan said the names of 1,672 persons – doctors, professors and students- have been given and they will be given the shots in a phased manner.
At the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, its Dean Therani Rajan took the first vaccine jab.
“I had opted for Covaxin to create confidence in the people as the number of people who had registered for this vaccine was less as compared to Covishield,” Rajan told IANS.
He said 52 persons had registered for Covishield while it was 30 for Covaxin.
“Except for the slight pain when the needle poked the skin, I have no other problem,” Rajan said.
The first vaccine jab in the state was received by K. Senthil, State President of Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association at the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai in the presence of Chief Minister K.Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam.
The Government Stanley Hospital scored a century by vaccinating 100 frontline healthcare workers on the first day.
“The Dean, head of departments, professors, nurses and workers were vaccinated,” P. Balaji, Dean told IANS.
According to him, many staff have gone to their native place to celebrate the Pongal festival and from Monday onwards more healthcare frontline workers will get the vaccine jab.
At Apollo Hospitals here, the Chairman of the Apollo Hospitals Pratap C. Reddy got himself vaccinated. The hospital is one of the vaccination centres in the state.
“For India, this is a landmark moment as the vaccines are being manufactured in the country itself, with one a product of indigenous R&D (research and development). This is a proud moment and a milestone in our efforts to become self-reliant or Atmanirbhar in the field of healthcare. I am privileged to be the first person in Apollo Hospitals to receive the vaccine dose here today. I am sure that this will strengthen the resolve of our frontline workers to continue to serve patients and win the battle against COVID-19,” Reddy said.
Similarly, at MGM Healthcare Prashanth Rajagopalan, Director got the vaccine poke along with several other doctors at this private hospital.
“MGM Healthcare has been leading from the forefront in the fight against Covid 19 and has treated over 1,000 patients via home care, hospital, ECMO support & being the second largest centre for post covid lung transplant in the world. It is an emotional moment for us to be finally administering the covid vaccine for healthcare professionals of our hospital and noted prominent healthcare professionals of the city,” Rajagopalan said.
In Tamil Nadu, the immunisation exercise will be performed at 166 centres — government and private hospitals.
As per plans, a total of 100 people will be vaccinated at each centre in the coming days.
Both the vaccines — Covishield, manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Covaxin developed and manufactured by Bharat Biotech — will be used in the state.
The State had received 556,500 doses of vaccines — 536,500 doses of Covishield and 20,000 doses of Covaxin-Palaniswami told reporters.
Palaniswami said 28 days after the first shot, a second vaccine dose will be administered and one has to be very careful for the next 42 days after which immunity against coronavirus will develop.
When pointed out some states not using Covaxin, Palaniswami said the permission to the vaccine was given by the central government after detailed studies.
He said people may have some initial apprehension about the vaccine but when the doctors themselves come forward to take the shot people’s views would undergo a change.
Palaniswami also said he too will get a vaccine shot against the Coronavirus.
Till Friday, a total of 8,29,573 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the state. A total of 12,251 persons have lost their lives due to the virus.