COVID-19 vaccination begins in West Bengal; great day for humankind, says first recipient

NEW DELHI: As India launched the world’s largest vaccination drive against the coronavirus pandemic, showing the light at the end of a 10-month tunnel that upended millions of lives and livelihoods, here are some of the quotes from people who took the jab and ministers:

— Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan: These vaccines are ‘sanjivani’ in our fight against this pandemic. We have won the battles against polio and small pox. Now, we have reached the decisive phase of winning the war against coronavirus.

— Manish Kumar, first person in Delhi to get vaccine shot: Many of them (staff) were scared.

So, I went to my seniors and said I should be given the vaccine first. I wanted to prove to my colleagues that there is no need to be scared.

— Manish Kumar, first person in Delhi to get vaccine shot: She (wife) even asked me not to take the vaccine. I told her it is just an injection. After taking the dose, I asked my mother to tell my wife that I am safe.

— Bipasha Seth, the first person who got inoculated in West Bengal: It’s a great day for humankind. I feel elated to get the first dose.

— Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami: Everyone should for sure get vaccinated. You and I have to get vaccinated. Those from your and my family too should get the vaccinated.

— Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray: It is a revolutionary step we are taking today. I salute to the corona warriors who selflessly treated the COVID-19 patients when there was no remedy available.

— Abdul Qayoom, security guard at Era Medical College in Uttar Pradesh: There was always fear in mind because of close proximity to coronavirus patients. But now I am feeling much safer.

— Biji Tomy, a nurse in Delhi who got the shot: We risked our lives and were pained to see so many deaths every day. It is a relief that we have a vaccine against coronavirus now.

— Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja: The pandemic is not going to end after this vaccine. We still need to make sure that we follow the health protocol, including the use of masks, hand wash and social distancing. The immunity will be developed slowly.

— West Bengal Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim: It seems we are slowly coming out of the pandemic, which has claimed so many lives. We were in a state of depression for the last one year. From today, we will again relive our lives.

— J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to COVID warriors: When pre and post pandemic history will be written, your contribution will be written in golden words.

— Naveen Kumar from LNJP Hospital’s administration department in Delhi: I feel perfectly normal after the vaccination. Drawing blood from veins hurts more.

— Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla: It brings me great pride that #COVISHIELD is part of this historic effort & to endorse it’s safety & efficacy, I join our health workers in taking the vaccine myself.

— Ashokbhai, the first recipient of the vaccine in Gujarat: I didn’t have any apprehension about getting this vaccine. Everyone should take it.

— M K Sudarshan, chairperson of Karnataka government’s COVID-19 technical advisory committee: Benefit of vaccination clearly outweighs the risk of disease….I have taken the vaccine to give a message to people of country that the vaccine is safe and will be helpful.

— Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat: The antibodies begin to form two weeks after the second dose, which is administered on the 28th day after the first. You must show patience and wait for at least one-and-a-half months.

— NITI Aayog member V K Paul: I believe that this is a great vaccine. I have taken Covaxin. Embrace the vaccine.