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My Covid Vaccine Shot Experience In India – I Got My First Covid Injection Today

I got my first covid vaccine shot (injection) today (April 22, 2022) at Dehu Road Cantonment Hospital In Pune, Maharashtra, India. I first registered myself for the Vaccine on Cowin website on April 21, 2022. I was given a time slot of 11 AM to 1 PM. As I always faced problems in the government given time slots I went early at 8 AM to find out actually what is happening.

Aadhar card and a mobile number is a must for getting vaccinated. I did not pay any money for the vaccination.

Five elderly people had arrived for taking the shots. What was so encouraging to see that some of them were accompanied by their grandchildren. The grandchildren were standing in the queue and helping them out with registration. So I waited there. Slowly people started trickling in and by 9:00 AM there were around 25 people for taking shots mostly elderly.

Dehu Road Cantonment Hospital in Pune is a hospital which most middle class Indians avoid. There is a wrong notion that it is unclean and not fit for any kind of treatment. But I found the hospital premises to be very clean and the staff to be very helpful. I had been to several government run institutions around 10 years ago and they were all really pathetic. But things have changed in the last few years especially regarding cleanliness and people management. I do not say it is perfect but better than what it was 10 years ago.

By 9:00 AM a queue was formed. There are some people in India who think it is their birthright to jump the queue and some small shouting regarding this took place. In a few minutes everything was sorted out.

Now around 70 to 75 people were waiting in the queue.

Suddenly I got a message in the mobile that your appointment has been cancelled. But it was already informed to us that Vaccine for 100 people has arrived. So I stood in the queue. This queue is to help all those who do not know how to register online or are unable to do so or are facing technical glitches like the one I had. Finally at my turn I was informed that my registration still stands and I can take the vaccine. I just had to show my Aadhar card and give my mobile number.

I was supposed to get the vaccine as the 7th person on the day. In India, there are VVVIPs who will jump any queue. Even God cannot stop them. So suddenly I was pushed to the 12th spot. I saw some individuals well dressed (educated Indians who always complain about everything in India) who will never otherwise enter the premise of this particular hospital jump the queue and get vaccinated. We Indians are now used to such glorified idiots. There was some talk regarding this but no one objected.

I went inside first into a consultation room where I had to give my details again. My blood pressure was checked and entered and asked about any ongoing health issues and was I Covid positive. I did not have any health issues and I was not covid positive earlier.

Here I was given token number 12. I went to the next room and here my details were entered online again. I was given the shot here on the left arm just below the shoulder. The nurse asked me to buy a strip of paracetamol or crocin and to have it if I have some fever or headache in the evening. I was then asked to wait in the observation room for 10 minutes.

I was given the Covaxin shot.

So after 10 minutes I left the premises and I reached home at 10:30 AM. I went at 8:00 AM and reached home at 10:30 AM. I carried a small hand sanitizer (Rupees 30) with me. I kept cleaning my hands a number of times. Came home put all clothes for washing and took bath.

Observations

  • You need an Aadhar card and mobile number to register in the hospital or at home on the Cowin website.
  • The vaccination is free in Government run hospitals and institutions.
  • If you have taken Covaxin as your first shot then you need to take Cavaxin as second shot too. Some people who had arrived had taken the Covishield vaccine as first shot and they had to return back as Covishield was not available today. So find out at the earliest itself as to which shot is being taken on a given day.
  • Have some patience, keep distance and avoid unwanted talks. This is India there will be problems but some things are changing for good. Raise your voice and object when something wrong is happening. People will soon join in. It is that they just want someone to start it. Hope for the best. 




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