There are three member of my family who have taken the first dose of vaccine, our age range is from 47 to 80 years. Two of us got Covishield and one, me Covaxin. I am writing this blog, in the hope that some of you might find the experience helpful.
It started with my dad first who is 80. At that time he was able to get an appointment in a private hospital in Gurgaon through the Aarogya Setu App. The process is menu driven, not difficult to use. It requires your mobile number to register and pincode for finding hospitals near you. When the time came, he had to reschedule a few days before. He was able to do that successfully. He went at the day of his rescheduled appointment and got the vaccine successfully. All he needed was to take his Aadhar card and pay for the vaccine.
Walking In to Get Vaccinated
By the time it was my husband’s and my turn, things changed slightly. I tried for an appointment. I would get it through the app but it would automatically get cancelled. That baffled me a lot till I asked around. People told me just to walk in to the place I feel comfortable and get vaccinated. This was the advice from friends and on Twitter too.
My husband was able to go first. He walked in to a private hospital but nothing happened for an hour. He walked out and tried the nearby government health center. He could get it done in 20 minutes or so after getting the first dose of Covishield. He also need the Aadhar card and the vaccine was free.
Then I found time around mid April. I tried the appointment route once again but got no success. So, I went in to the same government health center. It was a holiday, the hospital was closed but the vaccination was going on. On asking around I was given a number, 49 and asked to wait. I decided to wait outside as I have been avoiding closed spaces all this time.
I asked the attendant handling the list twice about the number going on. I told him I was waiting outside and I was number 49. I also asked how many people were called in. He said two at a time. People though sometimes gathered inside to inquire. He came out after a while and said, I was next.
The Formalities at the Site
I reported to the desk, handed in my Aadhar card and the gentleman asked for my cell number. Then he asked if I was already registered, to which I said I tried but sure if I succeeded as all my appointments got cancelled. He then just asked me for my phone number and waved me in.
Getting the Jab
There were two nurses, one kept chatting to me and I hardly even realized that I already got the injection. Mine was Covaxin. The nurses told me to take a paracetamol if I got mild fever. I was asked to provide my phone number and sign a register. I came out, I was asked to wait and after a while I went home.
The After Effects
My dad got mild fever for one morning, my husband got no fever but he felt tired for a few days. I got mild fever for one evening and then settled in. My hand was a little sore too. And for us that was it.
Downloading the Certificate
You can download the certificate once you register on the Cowin website. It will even remind you about your second dose date.
What I gathered While I Waited
I got vaccinated under the 45+ category. So, I am not sure how much of this would be relevant to the next drive where the vaccination starts for 18+. But even in mid April the health care workers told me that the base was going to expand after May 1. When I asked what age, they said not sure maybe 30+ or maybe even 18+.
They told me I could take my second dose anywhere I wish it was not mandatory to come back to the same place. I was told to take the same second dose, of Covaxin.
They told me I had no choice over the vaccine, you simply take what is available on the day. Private hospitals then were collecting the vaccines from the Government Center. When I talked about infection and such they said and look at us, we are here everyday.
I wrote this post quickly, just so that someone might benefit from reading it. I have no interest to engage in a political discussions in my comment section. I simply wrote how it went for my family.