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Hyderabad's Gandhi hospital workers hope COVID vaccine ends stigma

Kistamma S, 42, a sanitation worker at Gandhi Hospital, etched her name into history by becoming the first individual in Telangana to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Published: 17th January 2021 08:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th January 2021 08:40 AM   |  A+A-

Frontline warriors and medical staff celebrate after receiving the first vaccine jab at Malakpet Area Hospital. (Photo | Vinay Madapu, EPS)

Frontline warriors and medical staff celebrate after receiving the first vaccine jab at Malakpet Area Hospital. (Photo | Vinay Madapu, EPS)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  Kistamma S, 42, a sanitation worker at Gandhi Hospital, etched her name into history by becoming the first individual in Telangana to get vaccinated against Covid-19. With her eyes filled with tears of joy, she said she was initially reluctant at take the vaccine. 

“We have worked very hard during the entire pandemic, not just as sanitation workers, but also as hospital staff. This is like a reward for the service we have put in. I want to tell people that I have no adverse reactions and the vaccine is completely safe,” she said.

Speaking to media persons after completing her mandated 30-minute observation period, she said, “I have two sons and a daughter and they were not keen on me taking the vaccine, but I still took it.” 

The sanitation workers, who number about 300 in Gandhi Hospital, had braved immense personal challenges, including stigma, to discharge their duties at the peak of the pandemic, and Kistamma’s vaccination has given them acknowledgment and new hope their service.

ALSO READ | COVID vaccination drive: Telangana shies away from using Covaxin on Day 1

Shoba Rani, a 35-year-old sanitation worker at the hospital who also got vaccinated, said, “I have worked in Gandhi Hospital, on a contract-basis, for the past 14 years and commute from Chengicherla daily. When Covid-19 was at its peak, my own basti prohibited me from coming back home. In fact, even after that, I have faced a lot of stigma and harassment.”

Rani, along with nearly 100 other workers from security and patient care teams, resided in a common hall adjacent to the hospital during the pandemic, which served as a patient by-stander hall during pre-pandemic times.

In this together
Several co-workers of Kistamma, the first individual in Telangana to get vaccinated, are also looking forward to the vaccine and break the stigma they have been subjected to

Covid tally
Telangana recorded 249 Covid cases after conducting 28,953 tests on Friday

  • Total: 2,91,367

  • Active: 4,273

  • Deaths: 1,575

  • Recoveries: 2,85,519



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