Covid-19 vaccine evoked over 90 percent acceptance among the public healthcare workers in Telangana on the first day of the vaccination drive on Saturday, health officials said.
Over 90 percent of 4,200 targetted beneficiaries took the vaccine at 140 centers across 33 districts in the state.
Director of Public Health G. Srinivas Rao said the rollout programme was completed successfully without any severe or serious reactions. Only 20 people had minor reactions, which are common with any vaccine.
He said 3,530 people were vaccinated by 3.30 p.m. which is 84 percent of the target.
Director of Medical Education Ramesh Reddy, however, said by the end of the day over 90 percent of beneficiaries were vaccinated.
“This itself is an indication of the acceptance of the vaccine. The number will increase further in coming days,” he said.
At few places, some healthcare workers refused to take vaccines due to some doubts and apprehensions.
“We will try to convince them. All healthcare workers will have to be vaccinated. In the coming days the workers in private institutions will also be covered,” Srinivas Rao said.
He said all those taking vaccines should continue to follow Covid 19 appropriate behavior like wearing face mask, maintaining social distancing, and hand sanitisatisation as the first dose won’t give full protection
“The second dose will be given after 28 days but It’s only after 42 days that antibodies will develop giving full protection,” he said.
Ramesh Reddy was among the top officials who took the vaccine jab on the first day.
“Being administrator and professor, we want to send a message that this vaccine is safe and there no need to have any apprehensions,” he said and urged all his colleagues to come forward to take the vaccine.
Sharing his experience, the 59-year-old official said he got a sense of confidence after taking the vaccine.
“A year ago there were no medicines and were at a confused stage. Today the confidence has come that we can control Covid,” he said.
Directors of the Institute of Preventive Medicine, Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS), Government Chest Hospital, and superintendents of some major hospitals in the state took the vaccine to be role models to the society and send the message that the vaccine is totally safe.
Ramesh Reddy said lakhs of children are vaccinated and some minor problems like redness, swelling, and pain are common. “In the coming days we will vaccinate other frontline workers, people above 50 years of age and those with comorbidities,” he said.
Pointing out that the Covid deaths were more among those with co-morbidities, Reddy said the vaccine will enhance immunity.
“Vaccine develops antibodies and even if there is Covid attack, our body can fight it.”
The officials said the number of vaccination centers and beneficiaries will be increased from Monday. In seven to 10 days, all 1,213 centers will be active and each center can vaccinate a maximum of 100 beneficiaries every day.