COVID Vaccination for Elderly in Assam: Assam will start the COVID-vaccination drive for citizens in the age group of 50 years and above from March even as Dispur is closely monitoring the situation of fresh covid infection wave in some states across the country.
Addressing a press conference at the office of National Health Mission (NHM), Assam here on Monday, Principal Secretary of Health & Family Welfare Samir Kumar Sinha said that the Central Government has undertaken a phased-wise approach for the roll out of COVID-19 vaccination drive for various age groups.
"After the Healthcare & frontline workers, the third phase of the process will focus on people over 50 years of age, and then those below 50 years with existing co-morbidities. Assam has planned to achieve 100 per cent coverage of all Healthcare workers by February 28, 2021 and begin the covid vaccination process for people over 50 years 1 by March 1, 2021," said Sinha.
While the coronavirus vaccination process for the existing 1.9 lakh Healthcare workers and 1.8 lakh frontline workers has been ensured in a smooth manner, the real challenge will be to ensure total coverage of people above 50 years, which stands at around 90 lakhs in the State. The State has successfully inoculated 1.55 lakh Health and frontline workers who have received the first dose of the COVID vaccine. About 11,118 Healthcare workers have so far received the second dose of the COVID vaccine.
"The registration process for the vaccine should become easy through the COWIN portal for all," pointed out Sinha.
Two vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin – are being provided in Assam. These are administered in the injectable form to the beneficiaries. Each beneficiary is required to take two doses of the vaccine, 28 days apart, and antibodies against COVID-19 develop after 14 days of taking the second dose.
Sinha further informed that Assam is closely monitoring the fresh wave of COVID infection in some of the States in the country. He, however, said that there is no reason to panic.
The State has recorded 11 COVID-positive cases on February 15, 21 in February 17; 14 in February 18; 23 in February 19; 16 in February 20; and nine positive cases in February 21.
When asked about the State Government's decision to withdraw the mandatory COVID tests in airports and railway stations, Sinha said that the order will be reviewed in case an adverse situation arises. "We will not compromise on the health safety of the people of Assam under any circumstances," added Sinha.