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Do not hesitate to get vaccinated, listen to scientists: Delhi's first coronavirus patient

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New Delhi, Jan 11: Days ahead of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination roll-out, the city's first coronavirus patient urged people on Monday to get immunised without hesitation and listen to the scientific community, and not get swayed in by naysayers or those "spreading misconception" about it.

covid vaccine

The massive drive, whose first phase will begin from January 16 with healthcare workers to be the top priority group to receive the dose, will comprise 89 vaccination centres in Delhi. With final preparations underway and the vaccine set to arrive in the national capital in the next couple of days, Rohit Datta, who was the first person to be diagnosed with coronavirus infection on March 1, said "it feels surreal".

"Till a few months ago, we were struggling, people were dying in large numbers and fear of an unknown virus was at its peak. But our doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers fought a tough battle in 2020. And the first dose is rightfully to be given to all those corona warriors," he said.

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Datta, a businessman and resident of east Delhi's Mayur Vihar, praised the scientists who have worked tirelessly in labs to make these vaccines a reality. "When I had been detected with COVID-19, a lot of lay people had sort of become self-proclaimed medical experts, giving their opinions on the new virus, many spread misinformation and wrong information about it, even though the scientific community was struggling to understand this novel virus. Now, same thing is happening about the COVID vaccine too," he said.

"Many are spreading misconceptions about it even before the roll-out. Let us give our scientists a chance," the leather businessman said. India's drugs regulator has approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and the indigenously-developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.

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"I would appeal to fellow citizens to not hesitate and get vaccinated, whenever an opportunity presents itself. The Queen of England and her husband Prince Philip just got vaccinated, and Indian leaders also should come to the forefront and lead the way, to instil confidence among people," Datta told reporters.

He cautioned that many "misconceptions" with no scientific basis are being spread about the vaccine by a section of lay people, including by some religious leaders, and urged people to be wary of it and "not get swayed in by those unscientific arguments".

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Datta, who was diagnosed with the infection much before the nationwide lockdown was implemented from March 25, said it was strange that when the time for vaccination has come, bird flu has hit many parts of the country, including Delhi.

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    The businessman, whose house is near Sanjay Lake where several ducks have been found dead, hopes 2021 will be kinder to all creatures unlike the year gone by, which saw a pandemic of the century after the Spanish Flu of 1918. "I did quarantine for 14 days at the hospital, and then 14 days of home isolation, when these were technical jargons.

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