Shillong, June 10: Meghalaya will intensify the Covid-19 vaccination drive following the Centre’s decision to give free vaccines to the states for the 18-44 years category from June 21.
“The strategy of the state government is going to change as Government of India has agreed to supply the vaccines for the 18 plus category. We will combine the two categories of 18 plus and 45 plus,” Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma told reporters on Thursday.
“In case there is reluctance among people, aged above 45 years, to get vaccinated, we can use the vaccines for the 18 plus category due to the change in the policy,” the CM said.
He said the state government can now ramp up vaccination and that it will allow spot registration for the same.
“The state will no longer need to buy the vaccines but we had placed an order for 60,000 doses before the Prime Minister made the announcement on free vaccines. The consignment is arriving in a day or two. This will take our stock to 1.5 lakh doses as we have 90,000 doses for the 45 plus category,” Sangma said.
Vaccination for the 18-44 age group will resume across the state from June 11.
A total of 11,820 vaccination slots have been made available in East Khasi Hills through online booking from June 11-19 in 13 centres in Shillong Urban Agglomeration.
East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner, Isawanda Laloo said that for Shillong Urban Agglomeration, 20 health facilities will be conducting vaccination in 37 community session sites for 18+ age group of those concerned localities on June 11 and 12, with the close involvement of the local headmen, welfare committees and CCMTs.
A total of 6,000 doses is targeted for these two days in these centres identified by the Health Department.
Meanwhile, the East Khasi Hills District Task Force in its meeting on Thursday stressed on the need to encourage heads of families or breadwinners, co-morbid persons, single-parents, mobile wage-earners, etc., to come forward for vaccination.
It was also emphasized that all willing persons will get a chance to be vaccinated, since vaccine stocks will be replenished on a regular basis, and drives will be continuing throughout the district.
The Incident Commanders, Medical Officers and the local authorities have been entrusted with ensuring a smooth vaccination process and proper queue management in strict compliance to health protocols.
The vaccination drive through community session sites will aim to cover all areas of Shillong in the coming days and weeks, to ensure convenience to residents, and prevent inter-locality movement during period of restrictions.
She said that special drives will also be conducted for various occupational groups who are high-risk like PDS functionaries, delivery personnel, shopkeepers, street vendors, etc
In the rural areas under C&RD Blocks, 35 session sites will be carried out, aimed for both 18+ and 45+ citizens.
The District Task Force also commended the superb performance of the vaccinating nurses and staff of East Khasi Hills, who have ensured zero wastage of vaccine doses for both 45+ and 18–44 categories.