19 skip jab in Tura
TURA/ JOWAI/ NONGSTOIN: The nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive rolled out across four centres in the Garo Hills region on Saturday. But 19 out of 100 people listed for the first dose of vaccine at the Holy Cross Hospital in Tura failed to turn up for various reasons.
Altogether 400 frontline workers – doctors, nurses and medical staff – were shortlisted for the two-dose shot in the arm at these four centers.
Neeraj Singh, representing the World Health Organization (WHO), oversaw the vaccination drive launched at the Holy Cross Hospital. Officials said 81 of the 100 listed frontline workers took the injection. But the absence of the 19 did not diminish the enthusiasm among the medical workers who stood in line before the drive began.
The first to take the shot was Ivonne M. Sangma, the District Maternal and Child Health Officer cum District Immunisation Officer, followed by Marwin R. Sangma, the District Medical and Health Officer and Sister Immaculate, a gynaecologist at Holy Cross Hospital.
“This pandemic has devastated lives. We have been praying for a vaccine and now that it has arrived. We should all take full advantage of it. I am confident of this vaccine,” Dr Ivonne Sangma said after being administered the first jab.
The DMCHO also said West Garo Hills has received 6,180 doses of the Covishield vaccine and 4,999 target healthcare workers uploaded in the portal including medical officers from paramilitary forces would be vaccinated in the first phase.
Ahead of the vaccination, West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Ram Singh said a well-coordinated system has been put in place including a digital platform wherein the database is being uploaded from the moment of registration of names, administration of the vaccine and taking of the booster dose after 28 days followed by issuing of a certificate online.
He lauded the work of the frontline workers who have been giving their all since the time of the pandemic outbreak.
The day also saw Rev. George Mamalassery, the Bishop Emeritus of Tura, offering a prayer to remember everyone affected by the pandemic and to seek its end.
In Khliehriat, East Jaintia Hills district’s Deputy Commissioner E. Kharmalki launched the COVID-19 vaccination programme at the Sutnga Community Health Centre (CHC).
“Everybody will get the vaccine as per the guidelines of the central government,” he said, appealing to all the health workers to overcome their fear and get the shot.
Underlining the need to keep following the basic preventive measures, Kharmalki congratulated the medical officers and healthcare workers of Sutnga CHC for becoming the first beneficiaries of the vaccine in the district.
DIO of East Jaintia Hills district, EL Kharmutee said that the number of beneficiaries registered, disease epidemiology and vaccine availability would decide the extent of vaccination in the district.
District Medical and Health Officer D Shylla, and Khliehriat and Saipung BDOs T Shylla and R Pyrtuh were present at the drive that began with the vaccination of the Sutnga CHC Medical Officer R Toi. The WHO’s representative, Jatin Thakkar oversaw the programme.
West Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner, LSN Dyke Garod launched the vaccination at the Ialong District Hospital.
West Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner T. Lyngwa launched the drive at Nongstoin Civil Hospital and called upon the health workers to have faith in the vaccination programme and ignore “fake news and rumours” about the side effects of the vaccine.
R. Laloo, the district’s DIO, was the first among 70 health workers who took the vaccine followed by DM&HO, M. Bareh.
67 pc target in GH, 267 takes first jab
The target of 100 vaccinations in each of the four centers selected for the first ever vaccination programme in the Garo Hills region could not be met on Saturday as only 267 out of the selected 400 turned up at their respective hospitals to be administered the dose.
While a handful of these frontline workers declined to take the vaccination, many more could not do so for varied reasons ranging from illness, pregnancy or being out of station.
West Garo Hills district recorded the highest vaccination figure of 81 frontline workers getting immunised while North Garo Hills with 45 vaccinations was the lowest. The overall figure of vaccinations of the expected 400 frontline workers across Garo Hills stands at 67 percent.
In West Garo Hills district, 19 frontline medical staff did not take the vaccine. Among them, 10 declined to be administered the first dose and did not turn up while 3 are expectant mothers, 2 have left their jobs, 1 is ill and 3 others away from home.
In Ampati town of South West Garo Hills district, 80 health workers took the immunisation while in East Garo Hills it dropped considerably to just 61 frontline workers getting the jab.
North Garo Hills with just 45 health workers taking the vaccine was a dismal figure but health officials there say many had arrived at the venue without carrying the mandatory identification documents leading to their rejection.
A plan is afoot for Monday to vaccinate those who missed the crucial phase one vaccination.