Arunachal to start Covid vaccination drive for people aged 18-44 yrs from 17 May

ITANAGAR, 13 May: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday said the state government will launch the vaccination drive for people in the age group of 18 to 44 years from 17 May.

The health department will prepare a schedule for sessions for which registration on the CoWIN platform will start from 15 May, he said on Twitter.

“Arunachal will start vaccination for 18-44 years from 17 May, 2021. The health department will schedule session and registration will start from 15 May on CoWIN portal,” Khandu wrote on the microblogging site.

The state government had deferred the rollout of the inoculation drive for those in the 18-44 years age group from 1 May, as it did not have any vaccine for the age group.

The state had placed an order for 4 lakh doses of vaccines, and received a consignment of 20,180 vials of Covishield on Wednesday.

State Immunization Officer Dr Dimong Padung said that 2,98,924 people have been inoculated since the beginning of the immunization programme in January.

“At least 13.86 percent of the state’s population has so far registered for vaccination. Of them, 12.53 percent received the first jab and 4.61 percent got both doses of the vaccine,” Dr Padung said.

During the day, the chief minister held a meeting with the health department officials to review the Covid situation in the state.

“Reviewed the status of oxygen in our hospitals. Glad to know that by month-end, we will have 500 oxygen beds with seven oxygen generation plants functioning in the state,” the chief minister stated.

Khandu said he has directed the officials to ramp up the number of beds with oxygen support to 1,000 and the lifesaving gas generation units.

Health Minister Alo Libang said that the state government is developing a standard operating procedure (SOP) to ensure that there is no rush at the vaccine centres when the vaccination of those above 18 years of age starts.

Briefing the press here on Thursday, Libang said that the vaccines will be given in two batches during the day.

“Those who are 45 years and above will be vaccinated in the morning, and those between 18 and 44 years will be vaccinated in the evening. This will prevent rush and ensure social distancing at the vaccine centres,” said the health minister.

He expressed concern over the failure to fully vaccinate the targeted population of 45 years and above and frontline workers. “I appeal to the people of these categories to come forward and get vaccinated. We are working on a plan to complete vaccination of above 45 and frontline workers by the end of this month,” said Libang.

The minister informed that fresh doses of 20,180 Covishield vaccines arrived in the state on Wednesday.

“Very soon, another 35,000 doses of vaccines provided by the government of India will arrive. We have ordered 4 lakh doses from the state government’s side,” informed the health minister.

He also claimed that, as per data, lockdown is helping in the battle against Covid-19 in the Itanagar capital region.

The minister also reviewed the preparedness with all deputy commissioners, district medical officers and superintendents of police on Thursday through a videoconference.

“We reviewed the availability of beds, oxygen supply, medicines and manpower. The preparedness is good so far,” he said.

Libang also informed that organizations like Tata Trust, the IOC and the ICICI Bank have offered help with oxygen concentrators to the state government.