COVID-19 vaccination program launched at New STNM Hospital, Sochaygang

COVID-19 vaccination program launched at New STNM Hospital, Sochaygang
File Photo

Gangtok, January 16: The nationwide launch of the COVID-19 vaccine (Covishield) started at 10 a.m. with inaugural launching by Hon’ble Prime Minister through video conferencing. During his video conference he congratulated the entire nation and wished luck on a successful program ahead. 

The launch of the COVID-19 vaccine in Sikkim was held in STNM Hospital, Sochyagang, Gangtok at the Ayush Hospital building. The Chief Guest for today’s program was CM Prem Singh Tamang. Along with the CM, other health officials attended the program including Sikkim's Health Minister Dr. M K Sharma.

The vaccine to be used is named Covishield, developed by AstraZeneca with the University of Oxford and is manufactured in India by Serum Institute of India. Today's vaccination program was launched at two places - STNM Hospital, East Sikkim and in Gyalshing, West Sikkim. Sikkim has received a total of 12,500 doses of Covishield which will be given out to approximately 6000 beneficiaries and the remaining will be kept as a buffer in the state.

The vaccination will be given out in phases with the first phase given out to healthcare workers, the second phase for frontline warriors and the third phase will include people over the age of 50, including those with comorbidities. The vaccination is to be taken twice with 28 days gap and it only starts building the immunity after 14 days of the second vaccination. Even after the vaccination, the beneficiaries are to follow Covid Appropriate Behavior (CAB). 

Following the proper protocol for the vaccination, only 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated per day in a session site. The beneficiaries will be selected through an automatic system and will be notified through SMS about the vaccination site and time. 

Health Minister, Dr. M K Sharma said that the preparation for this has been done thoroughly, the beneficiaries were all notified and protocol explained. Several mock drills and dry run were done earlier, the health care workers were trained especially for this day and also for checking the temperature of the vaccine workers were trained.

On an interview with the first three beneficiaries of STNM hospital, they said that the vaccination was not extraordinary and that it was just a normal vaccine like any other. They were kept under observation for 45 minutes after the vaccination and they felt normal and fine. They also said that the vaccine is safe for everyone also requested the people not to believe in rumours and to get vaccinated when the turn comes.