On the morning of May 13, I woke up to find that the road to my house had been blocked by a bamboo barricade with a poster stuck to it that said “Containment Zone”. My locality, Ward No. 5 within the bustling city of Agartala, had been cut off to contain the rapidly rising cases of Covid-19 infections. I live alone so my parents made several calls to me to check about my well-being. I told them that I was fine.
I started working from home. Seeing the situation of Covid-19 second phase, I felt it was necessary to control the movement of its citizens. Curfew has been declared all over the state till May 26. However, going to the office, to the vaccination centre, and going out to buy groceries and medicine is allowed. The police force guards the barricade of the containment zones from 6 AM to 6 PM following which there is a complete night curfew in the whole town.
All the grocery shops and vegetable shacks are open which is why this time people are pretty much relaxed and are not bulk buying like last year. Since I stay inside the containment zone, my friends were kind enough to ask me from time to time if I needed anything.
I realized that people are there to help one another in times of crisis. I also realized that the only way I could ensure my safety was to take the vaccine. So in the next few days I tried to book an appointment. The procedure was simple. I registered myself on cowin.gov.in and checked the availability of vaccine appointment dates. As soon as I found a slot, an SMS was sent to my number.
On May 19, the day of the appointment, I dressed up and went to the health centre. It was a nice bright day as I stood in line to get my shot along with many others aged 18 and above. We all stood slightly apart from one another, maintaining distance and wearing masks. There was not much crowd as only those who had booked the vaccination appointment were allowed to stand in queue as there were a limited number of vaccines available.
You can simply take a proof of identification like an Aadhar card or voter id card. Once you reach the place, you have to give your name at a separate counter for identification and reveal to them your secret code which you received in your SMS appointment. After getting the shot, I was advised to sit for 30 minutes and to not rub the place where I was injected. The after effects of vaccination? I did not have any fever or bodyache initially, however, I started feeling mildly feverish at around 3 AM at night which is a normal reaction after the vaccine starts doing its work. By the next morning I was fine. I did not have to take any medicine. My parents, who were constantly worried about me, called and advised me to eat properly and rest after taking the shot.
Things to keep in mind while going for vaccination:
Keep yourself hydrated at all times.
Avoid wearing full or 3/4th length sleeves while going for vaccination. Wearing half sleeves is fine as you have to get the shot in the arm.
Wear masks and maintain social distancing.
One can download their vaccination certificate from the link sent to them in an SMS after taking the shot. I have spoken to quite a few health officials about how long a person should wait for the second shot and they said it is preferable to wait for 12 weeks.
My parents had their first shot of Covishield during the 1st week of May when the government launched vaccination for people above 45 years of age. They were also totally fine after the vaccination. I suppose it totally depends upon person to person as to how their body handles the vaccine. Nevertheless, it proved to be fine for my family and did not result in any kind of side effects as far as I know.
This article has been created as a part of the Adivasi Awaaz project, with the support of Misereor and Prayog Samaj Sevi Sanstha.