People over 50 years to be inoculated from March, says health dept
Phase III COVID vaccination in Assam
GUWAHATI: The third phase of the COVID-vaccination campaign covering citizens in the age group of 50 years and above will start across Assam from next month, the state health department here confirmed.
People below 50 years but with co-morbidity, will also be covered in the vaccination drive.
“The vaccination process for the existing 1.9 lakh healthcare workers and 1.8 lakh frontline workers has been ensured in a smooth manner. But the real challenge will be to ensure total coverage of people above 50 years, which is a population of 90 lakh in the state,” Samir Kumar Sinha, principal secretary, state health and family welfare department, said.
The department is also wary of the fresh cases emerging across the country and closely monitoring the situation.
“We are planning to achieve 100 per cent coverage of all healthcare workers by February 28, 2021 and start the vaccination process for people above 50 years tentatively by March 1, 2021,” he said.
Sinha further said that Assam was well placed to handle the robust COVID-19 vaccine roll-out campaign in the state with over 4,620 sub-centres across the 34 districts, covering 28,000 villages, and an advanced system of maintaining cold chains for storage and distribution of vaccines.
The vaccination drive that began on January 16, 2021 has been able to cover over 1.4 lakh healthcare workers and over 16,000 frontline workers across all districts of Assam.
Two vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin are being provided in Assam, which are administered in injectable form to the beneficiaries.
Every beneficiary is required to take two doses of the vaccine, 28 days apart, after which antibodies against COVID-19 develop after 14 days of taking the second dose.
In regard to the Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) with the COVID-19 vaccines, Sinha said, “Till date, only 85 minor cases of AEFI have been reported in the state – 66 AEFI cases after administering the Covishield vaccination and 19 AEFI cases after Covaxin vaccination – which is only about 0.05 per cent of the total vaccinations in Assam.”
No severe or serious cases of AEFI have been reported in the state so far.
“Minor cases of AEFI resulting from COVID-19 vaccination are normal and can be considered as our body’s response to the vaccine. Such minor cases of AEFI have been observed for other vaccines as well,” he said.