Shillong, Jan 16: Meghalaya today partook in the massive vaccination drive against COVID-19 along with the rest of the country.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma informed that 832 healthcare workers received the vaccine at 11 designated hospitals, PHCs and CHCs in nine districts of the state on the first day.
Terming the nation-wide roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine as a historic and proud moment for citizens of the country, he told media during his visit to NEIGRIHMS that the launch was a positive step in the year-long fight against the virus.
‘‘We have been fighting Covid-19 for almost a year now and this has really taken a big toll I should say on the nation, on the economy and lives of every citizen of this nation and today this vaccine roll out is a very positive step towards our fight against Covid-19,” he said.
It may be mentioned that the state received 35,000 doses of Covishield in the first batch.
The Chief Minister stated that 16,000 health workers in the state would be immunized in the first phase, followed by frontline workers and persons above 50 and persons with co-morbidities.
He informed that all beneficiaries of the first phase will receive their first dose of vaccine within a span of three to four weeks.
The beneficiaries will receive their second dose of Covishield after 28 days.
Stating that the inoculation process would take time to complete, the Chief Minister also cautioned people not to let their guard down against the virus and follow all necessary Covid protocols to contain the spread of the disease.
‘‘We should all always remember that the fight against Covid-19 will continue. It’s not that this vaccine will immediately take it away and tomorrow everything will be normal. The vaccination program will take time to complete, everybody cannot get vaccinated at the same time, maybe this program will continue for six months, eight months, maybe a year and even more so, therefore I request and urge all the citizens of Meghalaya that we should not take it lightly, we should continue to follow all the norms and the precautions and the guidance that has been given by the health department,” he said.
NEIGRIHMS Director P. Bhattacharya, who was one of the first beneficiaries to receive the vaccine in East Khasi Hills District, urged the public not to absorb fake news on social media.
“The scientists have done their job, they have run their trials, do you think that multi-billion are going to be invested, given to people and that we are giving it blindly because we will be caught on the first day, right? So there is no (point) in telling you something else?” he said.
He added that the vaccines have been tested and certified for emergency use, because of the emergency of the current situation.