Imphal, Jan 16 : Putting an end to a long, anxious wait, Chief Minister N Biren Singh launched the first phase of COVID-19 vaccina-tion (Covishield) campaign at a function held at Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) today.
N Romesh, an Attendant of JNIMS was perhaps the first person in the whole State to receive the Covishield shot. He was the first person to get the vaccine at JNIMS today.
The first phase of vaccination would be carried out at 10 centres viz; JNIMS Hospital, RIMS Hospital, Shija Hospitals and Research Institute and District Hospitals of Churachand-pur, Bishnupur, Senapati, Chandel, Ukhrul, Thoubal and Tamenglong.
9617 healthcare workers would be inoculated in the first phase of the vaccination drive.
In the second phase, other frontline warriors will be inoculated. In the third and fourth phases, persons above 50 years of age and people below 50 years of age with co-morbidity will be vaccinated respectively.
Speaking at the occasion, Chief Minister N Biren urged the public not to make negative comments about the vaccine without valid scientific proof. As it may create suspicion and hesitation in people’s mind, such persons can be penalized under relevant Acts, the Chief Minister cautioned.
Containing such a highly contagious virus in a highly populous country like India having population of more than 130 crore people can’t be easy at all. If it were not for the farsighted vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his timely effective preventive measures, the country could have experienced transmission and casualty in greater scale.
Under his supervision, the Chief Minister said, India took up preventive measures as early as January 2020.
Biren said that the State Government announced lockdown even before the Centre announced it. He also said that the State Government also wholeheartedly took up different measures to contain the virus at maximum level. Despite criticism from some sections of the public, Manipur was among the few States which brought back its citizens in Shramik trains, he added.
The State also not only opened quarantine centres and COVID Care Centres on time but also acquired necessary equipment and recruited required manpower without any delay, he added.
Biren also appreciated the hard work of researchers and scientists of the country for developing COVID vaccines on time.
Developed by Oxford University and Astra-Zeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute of India, Covishield has already undergone the required three levels of human trials. The Drugs Controller General of India has declared the vaccine safe, immunogenic and efficacious. 54,000 doses of the vaccine arrived in the State on January 13.
The State Government has identified and kept ready 246 session sites spread across 16 districts for vaccination. All these sites have been checked through dry runs.
Health Advisor to CM Dr Sapam Ranjan, Chief Secretary Dr Rajesh Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary P Vaiphei, Health Services Director Dr K Rajo, Family Welfare Services Director Dr P Shyamsundar, State Mission Director of National Health Mission Dr N. Shyamjai and JNIMS Director Prof Th. Bhimo were also seated on the dais.
At RIMS, 100 people were inoculated on the first day of launching the first phase of the vaccination campaign.
After getting a dose of Covishield shot, Prof A Santa Singh, Director, RIMS expressed gratefulness to all concerned for giving the opportunity to organise the launch of COVID-19 vaccination programme at the institute.
He said that he volunteered for the vaccination to demonstrate that there are no side effects of the vaccine.
He added that it would be good if more people come out to get vaccination to break the chain of the pandemic.
The function was attended by Imphal West DC N Praveen Singh, Y Nelson, ADC/ADM, Imphal West, Pooja Elangbam, SDO Lamphel, Prof H Priyosakhi Devi, Medical Superintendent, RIMS Hospital, Dr H Kula Singh, Chief Medical Officer, Imphal West and Dr Th Shantajit Singh, District Immunization Officer, Imphal West as guests of honour.
All the heads of departments, faculty members, officials and staff RIMS too attended the launching function.