Since the COVID-19 vaccine drive took off in the city, people wait for their turn to receive the COVID-19 vaccination for one more interesting reason and that is the photoshoot. Various celebrities and ministers carry their battalion of media to cover the event. The whole sanctity of the medical environment and the importance of isolation gets diluted in the photo circus.
Nurse Mary at Mumbai’s COVID-19 vaccine centre said, “There is too much enthusiasm for post-vaccine pictures. Beneficiaries pose for photographs after being vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine. That actually kills a lot of time, but we adjust because we see the happiness on people’s face.”
“Beneficiaries wait for their turn to get vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine during the first, second and third phase of immunization drive. There are tremendous response and reciprocation from people in almost every centre,” said BMC officials.
At ESIS Hospital in Navi Mumbai to pose for photos, there is a small photo corner created where citizens pose for pictures at a photo booth after being administered the Covishield vaccine, during the third phase of a countrywide inoculation drive against COVID-19, at Dharavi in Mumbai.
Vinod Dhage, an event photographer said, “These days there is no marriage season like it used to be before. The family events have shrunk but I get a lot of orders at COVID centres from celebrities, local corporators and government officials. They want perfect photos to post on social media.”
“Social media postings have gone viral and many treat it as a status symbol. If you look around, people are flooding with Vaccination photographs. In India people live for social media, they want to display everything that they do in their life. Sometimes managing the excitement of people becomes a little tough,” said the Hospital administration at Navi Mumbai.
Meanwhile, Frontline medical and healthcare workers can no longer register for COVID-19 vaccination, the Health Ministry said on Saturday. It said the move is to ensure vaccine coverage expands quickly to include more categories of people, such as those above age 45 years as frontline medical and healthcare workers have already got priority and enough time to get vaccinated.
Some ineligible beneficiaries in these categories – healthcare and frontline medical workers – have been found adding their names and getting vaccinated in violation of the guidelines, the Health Ministry said in the order.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said registration of people above 45 years of age will continue on the CoWIN website and asked States and Union Territories to ensure quick vaccination of healthcare and frontline medical workers who have already registered. When vaccination started in the country in January, there were reports about some healthcare and frontline medical staff showing hesitancy to take the jab. They were thereafter asked to get inoculated and warned of not losing that chance. Doctors and other health professionals were the first categories to be vaccinated in the country.