Should the public worry about getting COVID-19 vaccination?
In Manipur, the doctors who were given the first dose of the Covishield vaccination urged the public not to worry about getting side effects of the vaccine.
Fear and worries writ large among the people over the safety concern or possible adverse response to the COVID-19 vaccination that was launched nationwide in India on Saturday. The government and other authorities concerned, however, assured the public that there was nothing to worry as the "vaccine is safe" and appealed to the public to take the vaccination.
In Manipur, as the vaccination drive was launched at 11 am at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) in Imphal, the doctors who were given the first dose of the Covishield vaccination shared their experience and urged the public not to worry about getting side effects of the vaccine.
“To get vaccinated is the best preventive measure. There is nothing to be worried about the COVID-19 vaccine or of getting any side effect,” Professor Nandeibam Kameshor Singh, member of Adverse Events Following Immunization of state, said speaking exclusively to the Imphal Free Press.
Dr Kameshor Singh, who is also Head of the department of Paediatric, JNIMS, was among the first 10 health professionals and other frontline workers who received the vaccination on day one of the immunisation drive.
"I was vaccinated around 12.15 pm and now it almost 12.45 pm but so far the feeling of uneasiness such as nausea, headache or allergy as side effect did not arise. The vaccine is safe and reliable. It doesn't give any painful feeling and enters smoothly while administering."
Dr Kameshor also said that beneficiaries have to take rest for 30 minutes after immunization to observe any kind of difficulties or uneasiness.
The beneficiaries of the first dose will be given the second dose after four weeks of the first vaccination.
Dr Th Bhimo, the director, JNIMS, was also administered the Covid vaccination on Saturday.
Speaking after taking the vaccination, Dr Th Bhimo expressed confidence that the vaccination will help in combating the virus and appealed to the people of Manipur to seize the opportunity and get themselves vaccinated.
"I'm confident that the antibody level in my blood against COVID will gradually rise up and I will be able to get protection against Covid in the next six months or so. So everybody should take the chance to get this vaccination," the director said.
MLA Dr Sampam Rajan, who is also Adviser to chief minister (Health), said the "vaccine is safe and efficient" as it is introduced after being proven internationally.
Head of Anaesthesia department, JNIMS, Dr Chungkham Thoibahenba told the Imphal Free Press that his main objective of administering the newly launched vaccine “Covishield” is to prove to the public that it is safe and helpful in preventing the present pandemic.
Director, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Prof A Shanta Singh also shared his experience of the vaccination and said that it was a great privilege to get himself vaccinated on the day of launching the vaccine.
"Vaccinating the virus would be the most effective means to prevent COVID-19," Dr Shanta said.
It will not protect only the beneficiaries but also society in breaking the chain of spreading of the virus, he added while encouraging people of the state to get vaccinated if they get the chance.
Meanwhile, as social media is abuzz with the news of the vaccination, Chief Minister N Biren Singh appealed to the people in his address to the state to avoid spreading negative comment about the COVID-19 vaccine and warned of stern action against people spreading negative comments.
“It is very unfortunate to spread wrong and negative comment on the vaccine as it is being produced after much research, observation and analysis. The state will start taking stern action against those who give negative comment about the vaccine, without any scientific reason, in social media,” Biren said.
Terming the launch of the world’s largest immunisation drive in India as a historic moment, the chief minister said that a total of 9,617 frontline healthcare workers of the state will be vaccinated at 10 sites across the state in the first phase.
Earlier, National Health Mission-Manipur, director Dr N Shyamjai had said that the state government was "not yet ready to take the responsibility for any negative side effect arising from immunising the COVID-19 vaccine as the vaccination will not be forcibly given to an individual without the person’s consent".
However, pointing out that the vaccination programme is taken up by the government to contain the COVID-19 pandemic for the welfare of the people, Shyamjai appealed to the public to get vaccinated.