COVID-19 Vaccine: Why a sanitation worker became the first Indian to get the vaccine

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COVID-19 vaccine has been the need of the hour. Manish Kumar, a frontline sanitation worker at Delhi AIIMS who received the first jab against the deadly corona virus, risked his life to go into the COVID-19 zone without any formal training on infect on control. And the courage of this unsung hero was perhaps the reason for him to get the first vaccine shot.

AIIMS Director Dr. Randeep Guleria said that while he could have easily been the first recipient of the vaccine, Kumar’s selection sent a strong message to all frontline warriors that “we are grateful to you and will never forget your contribution no matter who you are and where you are.”

Dr. Guleria, who also got the jab on Saturday said, “There are many people who have been part of the COVID war, and who are the unsung heroes. They have worked tirelessly behind the scenes. They are the ones really who have gone into the COVID areas without any formal training on infection control. They have risked themselves and very often we need to acknowledge them. So, I think this is a tribute to all healthcare workers.”

On 23 people dying after being administered Pfizer-COVID-19, the AIIMS director said, “These are elderly people. So we need to see was it related to the vaccine or did it happen because of some other cause. The cause and effect relationship needs to be shown. I don’t think so we have enough data right now to link it to the vaccine. But it is something which needs to be looked at.”

When asked about parents’ apprehension to send their children to school without the COVID-19 vaccine, the doctor said, “In the next few months, we will have data emerging regarding the safety of these vaccines in the children also. And then we can add children too in the list of people who need to the vaccinated.”

India on Saturday launched the world’s largest vaccination drive against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed more than 1.3 million lives, sunk economies, shuttered businesses, and shattered daily life the world over. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-government had granted approval to two COVID-19 vaccines, Covaxin and Coishield. In the first phase of the drive, 3 crore people will be vaccinated on priority.

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