SHILLONG, Jan 19: On the second day of COVID-19 vaccination drive on Tuesday, Meghalaya achieved 61% of the target.
Principal Secretary of Health and Family Welfare department, Sampath Kumar said the drive was conducted successfully at 10 facilities.
Altogether 507 health workers (61% of the target) were vaccinated and no major adverse effects reported. The third day of the vaccination will be held at five session sites on Wednesday.
Kumar said the session sites would be decided based on the schedule of healthcare facilities.
“Careful micro-planning has been done to ensure that no essential services get affected in any of the healthcare facilities. The state will take measured steps to ensure successful vaccination rollout,” he added.
Altogether 530 health workers have been inoculated with the vaccines since Saturday when the drive started in the state along with the rest of the country. The health workers were administered the first dose of Covishield. The second dose will be administered after 28 days.
The government plans to vaccinate 16,000 health workers out of the 27,000 identified so far in the first phase.
After all health workers receive the shots, the government will focus on frontline workers, municipal workers, police personnel and people working in disaster management. In the third phase, people aged above 50 years and those with comorbidities will be covered.
Some fresh guidelines, issued to the state based on initial vaccination drive, were shared with the vaccinators at a review meeting with all districts earlier this week.
The first vaccination drive in the private sector was carried out at Nazareth Hospital in Shillong in collaboration with the Health department.
The programme was inaugurated by Administrator, Sr. Noreen and Chief Medical Officer, Gordon Rangad.
Altogether 92 of the 99 persons enrolled on the first day were vaccinated. Vaccination of two persons was deferred due to contraindications. The five others failed to attend the programme due to various reasons.
A statement from the hospital said the voluntary vaccination campaign would continue until all enrolled persons receive the first dose.
The hospital has so far treated over 250 COVID-19 patients and carried out more than 7,000 SARS CoV-2 tests.
With the arrival of vaccines and falling number of COVID-19 cases in the state, the Director of Health Services (MI) Aman War hoped good times would return to the state soon.
He recalled that in the early days, Meghalaya recorded a very less number of cases compared to that of other states. But eventually, the cases spiked in the state.
“Fortunately, most people in the state recovered. Now, with the advent of the vaccines and decreasing number of cases, we expect that good times will come back,” he said.
He expressed confidence over further improvement in the situation.
Once the situation becomes normal, the department will review the SOPs, he said.
He said stigmatization was a major challenge but the department received tremendous support from the public, communities and the state government.
He also recalled that when most states were facing shortage of PPE kits, masks and ventilators, Meghalaya had these in sufficient numbers. “Though some say we managed it badly but I would say we turned the badly into goodly,” he said.
He insisted people continue to wear masks, use sanitiser and maintain physical distancing.