Hyderabad: The Covid-19 vaccination drive took off here on Saturday with S Krishnamma, a safari karmachari or sanitation worker at Gandhi Hospital, becoming the first person to receive the vaccine. Witnessing the event were Health Minister Etala Rajendar, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy.
As many as 3,600 persons, all healthcare workers at government hospitals in Telangana, are slated to receive the vaccine on Saturday.
There was celebratory and festive mood at the hospital, as was the case at NIMS, and other hospitals and healthcare facilities – 140 in all in the state – where the vaccination drive began simultaneously. The overwhelming mood among those administering the vaccines and the recipients, reflected a strong sense of relief after the daily battle against Covid-19 medical personnel have been engaged in for nearly a year.
“I tested a few thousand samples for Covid-19,” a technician who was among the 30 who received the vaccine at Gandhi Hospital said. “I contracted the disease and then my entire family got it. I was in quarantine twice. I was looking forward to the vaccine,” she told media persons.
Speaking after the launch at Gandhi Hospital, Health Minister Rajendar said that doctors, nurses, sanitation workers had put their lives on the line every day to save the lives of those infected with Covid-19. “These are the persons who should get the vaccine first he said. Following this, I have decided not to get the vaccine,” he said.
At the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan was present as the vaccination drive began. The Governor described the event as “not just a vaccination but a thanksgiving to all the frontline warriors."
"This is the proudest moment. We have been waiting for this moment, the end of Covid-19,” she said.
Elsewhere in the city, at the Fever Hospital, Minister KT Rama Rao was present to witness the launch of the vaccination drive. “We take pride in the fact that one of the vaccines is being made in Hyderabad. I hope the vaccination will be a ray of hope and fill everyone with confidence,” he said. Rama Rao, however, also sounded a note of caution, asking people to be patient and pragmatic since providing vaccine coverage to the entire 1.30 crore people in the country will take time. “We should have patience and wait. There is a plan as to who gets it first and so on,” he said.