“I was waiting for this day ever since the doctors and scientists announced that a vaccine was indeed coming. I am feeling hopeful, positive and happy. In the future there will be less risk of contracting the virus from the people I meet,” 93-year-old Dr P.C. Dandiya who was one of the first to take the vaccine shot at SMS Hospital on Saturday, told Outlook.
Dr Dandiya, who is at present serving as Professor Emeritus in the pharmacology department of SMS Hospital said, "In the past 10 months I was homebound. However, I used to visit the hospital occasionally. I would suggest to people that they should take the vaccine and encourage others to do so also.”
Hospital employees gleefully greeted media persons who had gathered to capture the scenes on day one of vaccination. Doctors of the state's premier hospital, dressed in scrubs and smiling behind their masked faces, chatted excitedly amongst each other discussing the experience of their first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. "It feels awesome to get a vaccine shot finally. I have been treating cancer patients for the past 10 months. Most of the time I had to be away from my family and friends with a fear of contracting the infection. Finally, it seems the day has come where all our prayers have been answered,” said Dr Naina Agarwal, a 27-year-old cancer surgeon at SMS Hospital soon after she took her shot.
As many as 167 vaccination centres have been established across Rajasthan. Each centre is equipped to serve around 100 beneficiaries. Rajasthan has so far received around 5.63 lakh vaccine doses from two companies which include Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and Covaxin of Bharat Biotech.
Sudhir Bhandari, the principal of Jaipur’s SMS Medical College, was the first to get the Covid-19 vaccine in the state. "This is such a proud moment. I can see the enthusiasm among my colleagues, the frontline workers who are excited and relieved too,” Bhandari said.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot launched the statewide vaccination drive on Saturday. During the launch, Gehlot interacted with doctors and stressed that Covid-19 protocol should be maintained across the state. More than 9,000 people till this evening received the shots in the state.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine