AS MANY as 560 police personnel in Chandigarh have received the Covid-19 vaccine since February 3, when the vaccine shots were made available for the frontline workers of the UT police department that boasts of a strength of around 5,890 personnel.
Sources maintained that the response from the police department has not been very encouraging and efforts are being made to motivate the personnel to volunteer to get vaccinated.
Sources said that text messages are being sent to approximately 100-125 police personnel everyday regarding the vaccination, however, there are rarely any days that all the personnel turn up to get vaccinated– even as the officials say that not even a single personnel who taken the jab has reported any side-effects. Meanwhile, several police personnel have also claimed to have allergy due to which they are refraining from getting the jab.
The 560 police personnel who have received the vaccine dose include six IPS officers, three DSPs, 27 inspectors, seven sub inspectors (SI), 49 assistant sub inspectors (ASIs), 115 head constables (HC), 204 constables and 74 home guards. DGP Sanjay Baniwal has also been vaccinated. At least 75 police personnel were administered the vaccine on Saturday.
SP Manoj Kumar Meena said, “There is mixed response for the vaccination. On Saturday, a special session moderated by a joint team of WHO and UT health department was organised for the police personnel. They were encouraged to get vaccinated. I took the vaccine on the first day itself and I have been completely fine. So far, we have not reported a single case of side-effects of the Covid-19 vaccine in the police force.”
Inspector Asha Devi, one of the first UT police personnel to have been administered the vaccine, said, “I have been fine since the vaccination. It appears to be a normal procedure. I am regularly attending office.”
A policeman who did not take the vaccination, requesting anonymity, said, “I decided not to take the jab as one of the doctors known to me told me that I will still have to wear the facemask despite getting vaccinated. I prefer to build and increase my immunity with Ayurveda medicines.” Another police personnel said, “Doctors at Sector 49 dispensary did not advise me to take the vaccine when I showed them my OPD card related to allergy.”
Dr Sree Niwason from the World Health Organization, along with the Staff of Police Hospital, Sector 26, sensitised the Chandigarh Police officials regarding the vaccine, at Police Lines-26 on Saturday. The camp was organised to address the issue of vaccine hesitancy among people and to curb the misinformation and rumours about the vaccination.
It was also emphasised that vaccination against Covid-19 will lead to people not transmitting the disease, following which the disease will eventually be eradicated. On the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, it was said that many eminent doctors along with other frontline workers have taken the vaccine and returned to work without any side-effects.
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