Kolkata: Amid concerns over reports of efficacy of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, a Kolkata boy who is a doctor with the UK’s National Health Service has taken the shot, becoming part of the first batch of healthcare workers to receive the vaccine. The doctor, who had been attending to patients daily during the lockdown, received his shot at a health centre near his home on Sunday morning.
Arunangsu Dey, a gynaecologist with St John’s Hospital, Livingstone, UK, has been practising medicine in the country for more than 12 years.
“Vaccination is done. It is absolutely fine. I felt nothing more than a needle prick,” Dey said over phone, adding, “I am waiting for a few minutes before I drive back home. So far, there is no adverse reaction in the body.”
“The first batch was meant primarily for the elderly, specifically those who have crossed 80. I decided to apply for the vaccine when frontline workers were included on the list,” said Dey.
He called up the hotline earmarked for the vaccination on Friday and got through after nearly an hour.
“It seems that there is a lot of enthusiasm around it. A few of my colleagues here got listed for the vaccine a day ago and they have reported no side effect as yet,” he said. Dey will receive a second dose after 28 days.
Back at his Kolkata home, Dey’s parents were, however, initially concerned about their son taking the vaccine. “I was a bit afraid. But it seems that if we have to choose between Covid and the vaccine, the choice is clear,” said his mother Aparna.
“My son has been attending to patients throughout the pandemic and some of them were Covid-19 positive, too. A doctor cannot say no to his duties, so it is better that he gets vaccinated. I wish they had allowed family members of the frontline workers to be vaccinated in the first batch too,” she added.
Meanwhile, questions were being raised about the efficacy and side effects of the vaccine, including the warning for patients with a history of anaphylaxis to a medicine or food. “Frankly, I was not afraid. This is a big step towards eradication of the pandemic and I am happy to be a part of that. A colleague who took the shot the day before yesterday attended a 12-hour shift on Saturday,” Dey said.
“Everything has a bit of risk,” felt Dey’s father Amelendu, who is a doctor himself.
“When he said he was going to take the shot, there was mixed feelings. But with the number of vaccines lined up to be rolled out, it seems that the dark days are going to be over,” he added.