My story of Covid19 Vaccination
In India, the second phase of vaccination began on March 1, 2021 in which people over the age of 60 and those above 45 with associated comorbidities can take the life-saving shots. We took our 1st Dose of Covishield Vaccine at a private Hospital on payment just to avoid crowd. Only problem we faced was to get an vacant slot at Govt. portal www.cowin.gov.in . Finally got our slot on 31 Mar 2021. For 2nd dose, it was told by them that no need of booking a slot, just walk in after 6 weeks.
Before completion of 6 weeks, crisis started due to irregular supply of Vaccine. As a result, Govt. stopped supply to the Private Hospitals and finally they raised their hands and asked us to get the 2nd Dose from any Government run Hospital or Vaccine Centres.
Since our date after 6 weeks was approaching we started gathering information on Govt. centres. So on 12th May’21 visited two Vaccination Centre in our locality to know about the systems they are following. People at Both the centres said you have to come at 4.00 – 4.30 am and stand in queue, if you don’t want to go back unsuccessful. Me and my wife decided to visit one of the Centre on Monday, 17th May 2021 early morning, because in between there was EID festival for Muslims.
But to our surprise, next day i.e. on 13th . May 21 Government of India changed the Vaccine Policy (for Covishield only). The interval between two doses changed 12-16 weeks from 6-8 weeks. We were in a dilemma – What to do now? Our 6 weeks completed on 12th May ’21. In the night we decided, not to wait upto 17th, because by 17th the policy will be implemented and we will become ineligible for the 2nd dose now, let’s go tomorrow (14th) early morning and try our 2nd dose somewhere. We packed our breakfast since we won’t take outside food and started at 0545 AM. First visited our nearby centres and found both are closed due to EID festival. Local Govt. has changed the holiday from yesterday to today but never thought vaccination centres will remain shut due to a religious festival. Seems festivals are more important than Human lives. Anyway, by that time it was 6 AM in the morning and decided to go to a well known Railway Hospital. Railway may not be closed for such reasons. Reached BR Singh Hospital, Sealdah at 6.30 AM. Security personnel said, there is no Notice of “No Vaccination” today, so there will be vaccination. Staff will come at 09 O’clock onwards. They directed us to the vaccination centre and said to sit there. Hearing this we got somewhat relaxed.
From 7 onwards other people started coming and we are gaining some hope of our Endeavour. Then slowly Hospital staff too turned up and arranged for our separate seating for Covishield and Covaxin. At about 10 our vaccination started. After checking and entering the details in the Cowin portal they directed us to next room, one by one, where a nurse is vaccinating there. Since it is a Railway Hospital, the young Nurse engaged there asked me “Rail’ ? I said – No. She thought if I am from Railway services. She said no matter, open your shirt. Then she said to me that she is pushing Covishield vaccine, Second dose. I did not feel anything, I realized when she asked me to hold the cotton at the place of injection. She asked me again – after 1st. dose any thing happened? I said – fever. Then she advised to take one Paracetamol tablet before going to bed and in case of pain in the arm put ice after going home. Put your shirt on now, and while doing so, my Identity card (Aadhaar card) was fallen on the floor from my pocket. She said – you relax, I will pick it up. She picked up it from the floor and handed it over to me. I said so kind of you, thank you so much. Her kind behavior touched me and never knew such a good experience was awaiting for me here. After many years I met a Bengali nurse who made all the difference with other non-Bengali Nurses, with her good caring behavior and secured a place in my memory.