Infosys co-founder, Kris Gopalakrishnan, was among the first senior citizens to get vaccinated against the coronavirus on the day the drive opened to those over 60 years of age and those over 45 with comorbidities. He believes it is important for as many people as possible to get vaccinated as quickly as possible – and wants to share that message. Keeping him company was Dr Devi Shetty of Narayana Health who had been among the first doctors to get the vaccine.
Speaking to NDTV at the Narayana Health City, Mr Gopalakrishnan said, “Two things – I need to get vaccinated. That is very important. Plus, if I can give some assurance to other people that they should get vaccinated, they shouldn’t fear it… They should trust the scientists. They should trust the doctors. It is like a race between the people getting vaccines and the virus mutating.”
Dr Devi Shetty agreed. He told NDTV, “Fundamentally we need to vaccinate as many people as possible in the shortest possible time. Those who are eligible for the vaccine, please do not hesitate. We have no idea if we are going to get the second wave. Don’t regret.”
Narayana Murthy and his wife Sudha Murthy were also among the senior citizens who took the vaccine the same day they were eligible for it.
But it was not easy for everyone who wanted the vaccine to actually get it on the first day. At many government and private hospitals, vaccinations just did not start. At the KC General Hospital in Bengaluru, many senior citizens were disappointed not to be able to register at the hospital.
Dr Lakshmipathy, Nodal Officer, KC General Hospital told NDTV, “There is no problem. Only those who have registered online will be vaccinated. Provisions are there for those who come directly, but not today. “
In response to one senior citizen asking him when that would be, Dr Lakshmipathy said, “After 3 days.”
Many private hospitals listed as vaccination centres also did not start the process. Representatives told NDTV they were waiting for clarity on the process.
But in many places the system did work as members of this vulnerable section of society joined the numbers of those vaccinated against the deadly virus.