The world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccination drive began in India today as around 3 crore doctors and healthcare workers received the first shot of the vaccine. The COVID heroes who got vaccinated in the first half of the day have now got all positive things to say about the vaccine and the government’s efforts in honouring them. If getting a shot of the coronavirus vaccine brought relief to frontline workers, for those holding high positions it was another opportunity to set an example and dispel fears over the jab.Also Read - Fourth Dose Of COVID Vaccine Provides Limited Defense Against Omicron: Israel Study

As soon as Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out the vaccination drive, SGPGI Director Dr R K Dhiman, Ram Manohar Lohia Institute Director Dr A K Singh and Kannauj Medical College Principal Navneet Kumar were among the first few to get themselves vaccinated. Also Read - Bedridden For 5 Yrs, Jharkhand Man Starts Walking, Speaking After Covishield Dose; Doctors Say 'Miraculous Recovery'

Dr Dhiman said he got the shot to remove doubts in minds of those who felt hesitant in getting themselves vaccinated. “Besides the Government of India and the state government, I want to thank scientists of the country who made the vaccine available to the common people in such a short time. This is a major achievement for the country and I am proud of it,” he said. Also Read - COVAXIN Now Universal Vaccine For All, Product Development For Licensure Completed: Bharat Biotech

Similar views were expressed by Dr A K Singh. “I got myself the first shot in the institute and I am feeling very happy that the country has managed to get the vaccine in such a short time,” he said, adding that he wanted to remove doubts about it and every health worker in their institute is getting vaccinated.

Kannauj Medical College Principal Dr Navneet Kumar too was all praise for scientists. “I have read a lot about the vaccine developed in the country and got the first shot so that the misleading publicity on social media could be checked. The vaccines made in the country are safe and there is no risk in taking them,” Kumar said.

Dr Anand Verma of Era Medical College said now he feels free to work among coronavirus patients with more vigour. “I was deputed at a coronavirus ward and there was always this doubt of getting infected but with the vaccination, I will be able to work with a free mind,” Dr Verma said thanking the scientists and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A security guard at Era Medical College, Abdul Qayoom, thanked the prime minister and the scientists, saying he feels safe now. “There was always fear in mind because of the close proximity to coronavirus patients. But now I am feeling much safer,” Qayoom said.

A nurse at Ram Manohar Lohia Institute, Soni Agarwal, said she always faced the fear of passing the infection to her family members. Now with the vaccination, I am feeling relieved,” she added.

— with inputs from PTI