State registers low COVID vaccine coverage

DIMAPUR, FEB 11 (NPN) | Publish Date: 2/11/2021 1:38:23 PM IST

Nagaland’s COVID vaccination drive has been far from satisfactory as only 31% of the 21,549 registered healthcare workers could be vaccinated in the first phase and a mere 5% of the 51,718 registered frontline workers could be vaccinated in the second phase, a DIPR report stated. 

The low vaccination percentage has been largely attributed to the reluctance on the part of a majority of the healthcare and frontline workers to take the vaccine for fear of side effects.

However, so far, out of 8,948 persons vaccinated in the State, there has been no instance of beneficiaries suffering from serious medical side effects, apart from few cases of mild fever and pain in the injected area, which has been termed as normal for all vaccines and not just the COVID vaccine.

The facts were shared by State immunisation officer, Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP), Dr Ritu Thurr during a review meeting of Nagaland State Task Force held at the directorate of health & family welfare (H&FW) in Kohima on Thursday to assess the progress of the first and second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the State.

Thurr shared a detailed report on the progress of the first and second phase of the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive that is scheduled to conclude in nine days time at the meeting, which was chaired by H&FW principal secretary Amardeep Singh Bhatia.

Several issues related to the overall low coverage percentage in the State were brought out and discussed in detail. As the vaccine can only be administered to those who volunteer, the H&FW department is working hard to sensitise the people regarding the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The State Task Force discussed in detail the steps required to be undertaken to tackle the problem of low coverage percentage and make sure that the number of vaccines administered increases rapidly in the remaining nine days before conclusion of phase one and two of the vaccination drive. 

Other departments like the social welfare, rural development and directorate of information & public relations promised to aid the H&FW department in sensitising 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, healthcare and frontline workers receive the vaccine. 

Several issues and problems faced by different district immunisation officers regarding the vaccination drive in their respective districts were also discussed at length during the meeting and the State Task Force collectively vowed to address the issues at the earliest and with utmost urgency.

10,154 inoculated

State Health department has informed that total vaccinated beneficiaries in the state reached 10,154 on Thursday. 

In a press release, state immunization officer (UIP) Dr. RituThurr stated that 3,480 frontline workers and 6674 health care workers have been vaccinated across the state in a total of 243 sessions till date. 

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