Kohima, February 12 (NEx): The Nagaland State Task Force held a review meeting to assess the progress of the first and second phase of the Covid-19 Vaccination drive in the State on February 11, 2021 at the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare, Kohima. The meeting was chaired by Principal Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Amardeep Singh Bhatia IAS.
State Immunization Officer UIP, Dr.Ritu Thurr presented a detailed report on the progress of the first and second phase of the ongoing Covid-19 Vaccination Drive which is scheduled to conclude in nine days time. Till date, 6674 healthcare workers and 3480 front line workers were vaccinated i.e., only 31 percent of the 21549 registered health care workers have been vaccinated in the first phase while, a mere five percent of the 51718 registered frontline workers have been vaccinated in the second phase.
Several issues related to the low overall coverage percentage in the State were brought out and discussed in detail. The low coverage percentage can be attributed greatly due to the reluctance of a majority of the health care workers as well as the frontline workers to take the vaccine for fear of side effects. It may also be mentioned that since the vaccine can only be administered to those that volunteer themselves, the department is working hard to sensitize the people regarding the safety of the Covid-19 vaccine.
So far out of the 8,948 persons vaccinated in the State there has been zero instances of people who have suffered serious medical side effects apart from mild cases of fever and pain in the injected area which is normal for all vaccines and not just the Covid-19 vaccine, the SIO said.
The STF further discussed in detail the steps required to be undertaken to tackle the problem of the low coverage percentage and to make sure that the number of vaccines administered increases rapidly in the remaining nine days before the conclusion of phase one and two of the Covid19 vaccination drive. Departments under the Government of Nagaland namely the Social Welfare Department, Rural Development and Directorate of Information and Public Relations promised to aid the Department of Health and Family Welfare in sensitizing the general public regarding the safety of the vaccine and also provide logistical support as and when the need arises to ensure that a majority if not all of the healthcare workers and frontline workers receives the vaccine.
Several issues and problems faced by the different district immunization officers regarding the vaccination drive in their respective districts were also discussed at length during the meeting and the STF collectively vowed to address the issues cited at the earliest and with utmost urgency.
(With inputs from DIPR)