‘It was My Turn to be Vaccinated'
Updated: Oct 12, 2022
Q: Have you been vaccinated against COVID-19?
ASHA: Yes, I have been vaccinated. On 4 February 2021, while the polio vaccination drive was happening, I was called to a Primary Health Centre (PHC). The Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) didi told us that all the health workers were being vaccinated, and it was my turn. I also received the second dose of the vaccine after 28 days.
Q: What information were you given prior to the vaccination? Did you have apprehensions?
ASHA: I was not given any information before the vaccination happened. However, I was asked to stay back for 30 minutes after the jab, in the presence of a doctor, in case I showed any side-effects or difficulties.
I was a little apprehensive and scared! My blood pressure was measured before the vaccine was administered and it was low. For 3-4 days I felt pain in the arm where I was vaccinated.
Q: What cautionary measures were taken during the vaccination process?
ASHA: A doctor was available at the centre and three vacant beds were made available. People were being asked to wait for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine, and then they were sent home.
Q: Were you told about whom you could go to in case you experienced any side effects?
ASHA: Yes, the ANM didi asked me to call her in case of side effects. I told her about the pain I experienced. She said it was because I was a little weak, and that it would get better. I was not given any medicine for the pain though.
Q: Have you informed your local community regarding COVID-19 vaccinations? Are they asking questions?
ASHA: No, we have not given any kind information to the community yet. They have also not asked much.
This interview was conducted with an ASHA worker in Nalanda, Bihar in Hindi on 25 February 2021, and has been translated.