Hundred people will be administered vaccine at each of the 11 centres in the district from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Director of Health Services Sarita R.L. took the first jab at Government Women and Children’s Hospital, Thycaud, as the first round of COVID-19 vaccination got under way in the district on Saturday.
The hospital was among the 11 centres in the district where the vaccination drive was carried out. The first vaccine was administered at the hospital after the Prime Minister flagged off the nationwide vaccination drive at 10.30 a.m. A hundred people are to be administered the vaccine at each centre in the district from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
At the Thycaud hospital, which has 450-odd staff, 97 health workers, including doctors and nurses, were registered to receive the vaccine on the first day, with Dr. Sarita, Kerala Government Nurses Association State secretary Nisha Hameed, and Indian Medical Association State unit secretary P. Gopikumar bringing the number to 100. Stepping out after completing the half-an-hour observation period without any adverse events, Dr. Sarita said she was happy and relieved to be vaccinated. A vaccine was an effective weapon against any communicable disease, she said, urging everyone to take it.
Detailed and precise
Arrangements made by the government for the vaccination were detailed and precise, right from the awareness session at the outset to the administration of the jab and the observation period, she said.
Vaccinations would resume on Monday, and the number of days it would be administered in a week would be decided by the district task force.
Vaccination for health workers would continue till all those who had registered got the shots, she said.
Preethi James, hospital superintendent, said they had allotted time slots for receiving the vaccine on Day One as the software for informing applicants of the vaccination centre and timings through SMS would go live only during the day. After identity checks, those receiving the vaccine would be herded into a waiting room, and they enter the vaccination room one at a time. Then, the software would be updated, and the beneficiaries kept under observation are allowed to return.
Ms. Hameed who was among the first to receive the jab said the vaccine would help the nurses on the frontline of the fight against the pandemic to do their job with confidence. She said she had been able to remove the apprehensions of her friends who are not in the medical profession about the vaccine, though those prone to allergic reactions were a bit concerned about it.
Dr. Gopikumar said as a health worker, he had taken the vaccine in a bid to inspire others to do the same. It was important to receive the vaccination as developing immunity to COVID-19 alone could bring down the infection rate and the severity of the symptoms.
The health network of the State was equipped to deal with the remote possibility of someone developing any adverse reaction.