Vaccination drive kicks off at 11 centres in Kozhikode

About 18,000 front-line health workers expected to get vaccine in first phase

Cameras clicked one after the other as Vipin Varkey, junior consultant, respiratory medicine, Government General Hospital, Kozhikode, raised a thumbs up before entering the COVID-19 vaccination room on Saturday morning. Around an hour later, when he came out, Dr. Varkey was as cheerful as he was before.

Dr. Varkey was the first among the health workers in Kozhikode district to get the vaccine as the drive to contain the COVID-19 infection kicked off at 11 centres in Kozhikode district on Saturday. “I got vaccinated around 11.40 a.m. I did not have any uneasiness or anything. I had to sit under 30-minute observation,” he told the media later. Dr. Varkey claimed that the Health Department had made arrangements to address adverse reactions, if any, during the drive. “I presume many people are still hesitant to take it. There is no need to panic or get scared,” he added.

Earlier, Kozhikode Mayor Beena Philip, District Medical Officer V. Jayasree, and General Hospital Superintendent Omar Farook were among those who addressed health workers who had registered themselves for the drive. The event began with a formal video address by the Prime Minister. Later, Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran too spoke.

Dr. Jayasree pointed out that around 18,000 front-line health workers were expected to get the injection in the first phase. Ms. Philip sought to allay apprehensions about the possible side-effects of the vaccine.

According to a release, District Collector Seeram Sambasiva Rao and district panchayat president Kanathil Jameela were among those who were present at the Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, where college Principal V.R. Rajendran and Institute for Maternal and Child Health Superintendent Sreekumar supervised the operations. The other centres were the taluk hospitals at Koyilandy, Nadapuram and Perambra, community health centres at Narikkuni and Mukkom, family health centre at Panangad, ESI Hospital, Feroke, District Ayurveda Hospital, and Aster MIMS Hospital. Dr. Jayasree said 100 health workers would be vaccinated a day in each of the centres.

A total of 33,799 people had registered for the drive. One vaccinator and four vaccination officers were stationed in each centre. Ambulance facility was arranged to address adverse reactions, if any.

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