Several doctors vouch for vaccine

‘Mild reactions like rashes, swelling and pain due to the injection are common’

Posts on social media on adverse reactions seem to have created a scare among prospective beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, which was started in the country two weeks ago. A section of people, including doctors, are expressing apprehensions, even as many others vouch for its safety. Doctors say there is no cause for worry as mild reactions like rashes, swelling and pain due to the injection are common for any vaccine. However, the death of a couple of health workers, elsewhere in the State after taking the vaccine, is creating apprehension among public.

“Our plan is to vaccinate a little over 40,000 beneficiaries in the district in the first phase, which commenced on January 16,” P.V. Sudhakar, COVID-19 Special Officer and Principal of Andhra Medical College, told The Hindu recently.

“Only those who have vaccine allergy should avoid it, while all others having allergies like dust and food allergy can take the jab, but the response in such patients will be slow,” he said.

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District Medical & Health Officer P.S. Suryanarayana underlined the need to remove vaccine hesitancy among the public.

“In the first phase, only healthcare workers are being vaccinated and 19,000 have taken the vaccine, so far. Barring two cases of anxiety related disorders, no other major issues have been reported from anywhere in the district,” says Dr. Suryanarayana.

“There are no major adverse cases, so far, in the State. Our concentration now is on motivation of beneficiaries,” said G. Rambabu, State Nodal Officer for COVID-19.

G.V. Narasimha Rao, a retired doctor, residing at Seethammadhara, who was initially apprehensive of taking the injection, registered for the vaccination programme after being convinced by other doctors.

“There may be occasional mild reactions and showing it as an excuse to avoid taking the vaccine is not wise,” said G. Hanumantha Rao, an Associate Professor at MIMS, Vizianagaram.

“The COVID-19 vaccination drive was launched at our hospital only on January 20. I have got myself vaccinated and some of our professors got the shot. However, a few of our doctors are reluctant,” said G. Raghunadh Babu, Superintendent, Government ENT Hospital.

“I had tested positive for COVID-19 in October, 2020, and recovered completely. I was confident of the safety of the vaccine and did not even get a mild reaction after the injection. I will take the second dose after 28 days,” said B. Ramachandra Rao, an Associate Professor at the Government ENT Hospital.

Ramesh Kumar, ENT surgeon, and M. Lakshmi Suma, a PG student, said they did not experience any adverse reactions after vaccination.

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