Health dept dispels fear regarding Covid-19 vaccine

NAHARLAGUN, 12 Feb: The health department has dismissed fear surrounding the safety of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Director of Health Service, Dr M Lego said that “Healthcare workers and frontline workers receiving vaccine itself shows confidence in the vaccine and how safe it is.”

He was speaking at a state-level advocacy meeting with civil society organizations, faith-based organizations, the Nehru Yuva Kendra, the National Service Scheme and other stakeholders on the Covid-19 vaccine on Friday with the aim of sensitizing them to the vaccine.

He commended the CSOs/ FBOs and other stakeholders for their cooperation, and urged them to advise the masses about the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine and its safety.

“Hesitancy in receiving the vaccine is due to ignorance and lack of knowledge about the vaccine,” he said.

He informed that clinical doctors and other paramedical staffers are in direct contact with patients at risk and exposed to the virus, hence they are prioritized to receive the vaccine first as per availability of vaccine.

He further urged all to identify the source and authenticity of messages/ information on the vaccine and only then share with others. He urged all the stakeholders to encourage people to receive the vaccine without any fear and hesitancy.

Family Welfare Director Dr E Rumi said that shortage of healthcare providers due to

infection of Covid-19 could have had a major impact in health system, but the introduction of the vaccine by the government of India has changed that. He informed that India is the largest manufacturer of pharmaceutical goods and vaccines globally and all logistics required for prevention of Covid-19 is provided by India.

“It is now time to respond positively by the masses to the services being provided,” he said, and urged all to work collectively in the venture to fight against the virus.

Clarifying several queries raised by the participant stakeholders on the Covid-19 vaccine, Dr Danish Ahmed from the World Health Organization informed that the vaccine is still needed for people who were earlier infected with Covid-19, since the level of antibodies is not known and is only temporary. He further informed that distribution of vaccine depends on availability of doses.

“Covaxin is still under trial, hence, it has low production and availability, whereas Covishield vaccine, which is introduced in the state, has finished all the trials and is about 70-75 percent efficient,” he said.

He said that “the side-effects post vaccination is very mild, for which precautions can easily be taken.”

NHM nodal officer Dr D Padung presented the latest progress and updates on the Covid vaccination programme in the state, and shared the details of all the beneficiaries who have received the vaccine across the state so far.