54 year old becomes Nagaland’s first COVID-19 vaccine recipient

Dr Sendimeren Aonok receiving the first COVID-19 vaccine at NHAK on January 16. (Morung Photo)
Dr Sendimeren Aonok receiving the first COVID-19 vaccine at NHAK on January 16. (Morung Photo)

Morung Express News
Kohima | January 16

Fifty-four year old, Dr Sendimeren Aonok, consultant and in-charge of the critical care department at Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK) became the first recipient of the COVID-19 vaccine in Nagaland on January 16.

“I was ready to take the vaccine. There was no hesitation on my part and we knew that we will have to do it,” said Dr Aonok who is also the recipient of the Governor’s Gold Medal in 2012.

Interacting with media personnel in the observation room, Dr Aonok said, “The injection is absolutely painless and there’s nothing to fear as far as pain is concerned. And as far as side effects are concerned, till now am fine.”

Addressing rumours and misconceptions that are doing the rounds on various social media platforms about the vaccine’s side effects and complications, he said that while there are varied opinions, “it is better that people go for a deeper insight on whatever information has been provided.”

Dr Aonok confidently reassured, “we have done lot of in-depth studies since we knew we would be the first to be vaccinated. We have studied almost all research papers that have come out so far. Of course, the vaccine that has been created recently but nevertheless, the efficacy has been proven.”

“I assure that the vaccine that has been made for the virus is a ‘killed vaccine’ and not a ‘live vaccine’ because of which we can confidently say that everything will be okay,” he maintained.

Killed vaccines or inactivated vaccines use the killed version of the germ that causes a disease while live or attenuated vaccines use a weakened (or attenuated) form of germ that causes a disease.

“If it was a live vaccine, everyone needs to be careful because side effects and complications are huge but it is a killed vaccine which is absolutely harmless,” explained Dr Aonok. He however cautioned that people with allergies to many things would have to be careful.

“Be brave. Step forward. Be safe and take the vaccine,” was what Dr Aonok advised and encouraged every citizen of the state to take this ‘small painless vaccine’ to be able to save lives “because life is very important and it’s very precious.”

Speaking to The Morung Express, General Manager of NHAK, Dr Thorhusie Katiry who was inoculated five hours prior to the interview, said, “I am completely fine and I have not experience any kinds of side effects till now.”

One of the first to receive the vaccine in Kohima district, Dr Katiry narrated how he went back to his normal routine after being in the observation room for half an hour. “This vaccine is a like a light in a dark tunnel,” he said while adding that he is eagerly awaiting the second dose.

When contacted, Principal Director, Health & Family Welfare, Dr Vizolie Suokhrie said that no reports of any side effects or complications have been received from any districts till the time of filing this report.

“Everything is good and all these rumours are probably exaggerated, anticipated or presumptuous issues,” said Dr Suokhrie, reiterating that there was not a single report of any adverse effects of the vaccine from any quarters.