Many renowned medical experts, several of whom have been on the frontline of COVID19 response in J&K, received, COVID19 vaccine here today and spoke up in favor of the vaccination.
Over 10,000 healthcare workers have received the vaccine in the UT, health officials said.
On Friday, video message of DrNaveedNazir Shah, head department of pulmonology at Government Medical College Srinagar was widely circulated over media, including social networking sites. Dr Shah speaks about the efficacy and safety of COVID19 vaccine in the video, recorded after he received his first dose of Covishield vaccine.
“It is absolutely safe,” he is heard saying while appealing people to get vaccinated as per the schedule planned out. “First, it needs to be health workers because they face the greatest risk,” he says. Dr Shah has been in charge of COVID19 response at Chest Diseases Hospital, the primary hospital for admission of patients for many months of the pandemic.
Similar video of Dr S Saleem Khan, head department of Social and Preventive Medicine at GMC Srinagar has also been uploaded by the health department following his vaccination. “There may be mild symptoms in a few people after vaccination, as is experienced with every type of vaccine,” he says in the video. He has appealed to health workers to “protect their families and community” by getting vaccinated. Families of many healthcare workers have been infected by COVID19 during the pandemic. Some have even lost family members to the viral infection, Dr Khan said.
In view of the apprehensions about the safety of the vaccine, the health department has been roping in popular and well known medical practitioners to “bust the myths” . In the past week, video messages of renowned doctors endorsing the vaccine – DrSushilRazdan neurologist, Dr U Koul cardiologist, DrMuzaffar Jan head paediatrics at GMC Srinagar, DrFarhatJabeen head gynecology department at GMC Srinagar and Dr MS Khuroo gastroenterologist have been circulated.
DrQaziHaroon, state immunization officer J&K said the vaccination was “picking up”. He said on Friday, over 3000 health workers were vaccinated in J&K. “We have vaccinated 10,000 health workers till today,” he said. He said vaccination would increase now as more centers were opened and people were “warming up” to get the shot. “When people who know COVID19 so well get vaccinated and they come out to say that it is safe, it does make a difference,” he said while explaining the video messages.