No adverse reaction in anyone; SKIMS Director first to take COVISHIELD shot
Srinagar: Nearly 10 months after the first Covid-19 positive patient was detected in Kashmir, the first phase of vaccination against the dreaded infection started on Saturday with senior medicos, among them SKIMS Director Dr AG Ahanger, volunteering to be the first recipients. None of the vaccine recipients has shown any signs of adverse reaction, so far.
“It was a successful day,” Dr Haroon Qazi, State Immunisation Officer, told Kashmir Reader. He said that nearly 2,200 healthcare workers were vaccinated in Kashmir division, with Bandipora taking the lead, followed by Budgam and Pulwama districts, in the number of vaccinations.
About 60,000 healthcare professionals are to be vaccinated in Jammu and Kashmir, for which more than 1,40,000 lakh vaccines have been received. In the first phase, frontline health workers are to be vaccinated, followed by police, and then locals.
The vaccine was administered amid rumours and fears of it causing adverse reactions. On the contrary, all the recipients of the vaccine stayed normal and showed no sign of an adverse reaction, Dr Qazi said. Among them was the Nodal Officer for Covid designated Hospital, JLNM, Dr Bilqees Shah, who volunteered for the first shot.
She told Kashmir Reader that 30 medical staff of the hospital received the injection, but she volunteered first to raise the confidence level. “There were some fears among the staff, so I took the lead and it made the day easy,” Dr Shah told Kashmir Reader.
“I was not afraid because there was no reason to be afraid. With God’s help, everything went hunky dory,” she added.
Dr Qazi said that the vaccine was given at designated places in a systematic manner. There was a waiting area, a vaccination room, and an observation room.
“Once the vaccine was given, the recipient was put under observation for at least half an hour before being allowed to go,” he said. All the back-up needed, including emergency kits, were ready in case of any adverse reaction, he said.
In the past two months, there has been considerable decline in the number of Covid-19 cases in Jammu and Kashmir. The daily cases and deaths have shown a significant decrease, while the recovery rates have steadily gone up. Most cases have been handled with simply Oxygen therapy, without use of ventilators or any specific antibiotics.
Dr Qazi said that the number of vacations will pick up in the coming days and the target could be reached sooner than expected.
Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, had kickstarted the Covid-19 vaccination drive in Kashmir at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura, by giving the first shot of COVISHIELD vaccine to Director SKIMS Prof AG Ahanger.
Speaking on the occasion, the Advisor underscored the significance of this immunisation programme to comprehensively combat the corona pandemic.
The Advisor emphasised on the need to follow protocols such as wearing mask, hand washing, respiratory hygiene and social distancing. He also lauded Dr Ahanger and his team for leading from the front.
Dr AG Ahanger in his speech gave a brief account of the role played by SKIMS during the Covid pandemic and lauded the efforts of each staff member of SKIMS in treating patients. He said on the first day of the vaccination drive the frontline workers received the first dose of the vaccine and in coming weeks all the staff of the hospital will be vaccinated.
On the occasion it was informed that about 4000 health workers will be vaccinated today for which 40 sites across JK have been established and around 100 frontline workers at each site will get vaccination.