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Low turn out for phase-1 vaccination drive in Meghalaya

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Shillong, Feb 9: In the third week of the Coronavirus inoculation programme, Healthcare workers from Meghalaya are hesitant to take the coronavirus jabs. The state has seen a very low turnout for the phase-1 vaccine drive due to the fear of developing side effects.

Only 23 percent of the 33,185 health workers have so far received the Coronavirus vaccine jab in the state. Hesitancy to take the vaccine is the reason for this low turnout.

“7,600 have been vaccinated till date and this comes to only 23 percent of 33,185 health workers in the state,” Director of Health Services (MI) Dr. Aman War told reporters on Monday.

He however said many health workers, who were to receive the vaccine, did not turn up due to rumors which are untrue regarding the vaccine.

According to him, hesitancy among health workers to take the vaccine is high in Ri Bhoi district.

Appealing to all health workers not to hesitate in getting vaccinated against Corona Virus, Dr War said, “There is no truth in these rumors. Therefore, I appeal to all health workers to take advantage of what has been offered less in later days and months, you may regret.”

He also reminded, “You (health workers) have been trained enough, used your knowledge and don’t believe that this vaccine is going to cause any harm.”

Stating that the availability of the vaccine is limited, Dr War said that the government of India has been kind enough to ensure that health workers, who are in direct contact, are protected first.

“It has to be understood that we have got very less vaccine and that we have to take full advantage of this opportunity given by the government so that it will protect us and prevent the transmission,” he added.

The Director of Health Services (MI) along with the Director of Health Research and Mission Director of the National Health Mission was also among the health workers who received the vaccine jab as part of the ongoing vaccination drive against Corona Virus.

“The vaccine has got no side effects,” he said.

The senior medical officer also informed that the 35,000 doses received from the government of India will cover over 16,000 health workers under the first phase of the vaccination drive, which kick-started on January 16, this year.

“We expect to complete the vaccination of 16,000 health workers by the third week of February,” he added.

Asked, Dr. War said after this is completed, the department would start the vaccination drive for all the frontline workers and people who need to be protected first.

The senior medical officer also said that even after vaccination, people should strictly follow the health advisories particularly the 3 Ws – wear your mask, wash your hands and watch your distance.

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