Nagaland health minister S Pangnyu Phom launched the COVID19 vaccination drive in Dimapur district on Saturday and termed the day as a red-letter day for the entire country.

Phom launched the drive at the Dimapur District Hospital.

The first dose of the Covishield vaccine, which arrived at Dimapur on Thursday, was first administered to a pathologist of the hospital, Dr Temsu in presence of the minister.

Phom congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP-led central government for making the COVID19 vaccine a reality.

He also appreciated the state health and family welfare department, led by principal secretary Amardeep Singh Bhatia, for its active participation in the launching programme.

He said the state has received 26,500 doses of COVID19 vaccine from the Union ministry of health and family welfare for the first phase.

He said the vaccine has been found to have more than 70% efficacy in the clinical trials with good levels of immunogenicity.

Phom said the vaccination would be carried out in the identified health units, both government and private, in the subsequent days in the State. Those whose names have been registered in the CoWIN portal would be inoculated, he added.

Stating that each beneficiary would get two doses after a gap of 28, he said full protection from the vaccine would be developed only 42 days after the first dose.

He urged all the citizens to follow all standard safety measures of COVID19, reminding that the pandemic is still not over.

Nagaland minister for rural development Metsubo Jamir, who was also present during the launching programme, lauded the medical fraternity for their sacrifices rendered in the fight against the pandemic and appealed to the Nagas to pray for them.

Dimapur deputy commissioner Rajesh Soundararajan said the district is ready with phase-I plan of the vaccination and its eventual phases.

He sought continued support of the line departments and all stakeholders in this regard.

Asserting about the safety and efficacy of Covishield vaccine, principal director of the health and family welfare department, Dr Vizole Z. Suokhrie asked the people not to be apprehensive.

“Vaccine development takes series of trials from animals to human beings and only when it is proven safe, it is rolled out,” Vizole maintained.

He exhorted the health care workers to re-energise themselves and continue to give their best services for the successful implementation of the vaccination programme.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com