Shillong: Vaccination against COVID-19 for the 18-44 years age group, the population of which is around 15 lakh, will commence in Meghalaya from May 14, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma announced on Wednesday.
However, the government has voiced “unhappiness” at the vaccination rate in the state.
The 42,000 doses of Covishield vaccine manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) will arrive on Thursday.
“Vaccines will be earmarked for vulnerable districts and the Health Department will strategise the vaccination drive,” Sangma said.
The Meghalaya government could not roll out the vaccination drive for the 18-44 age group from May 1 along with the rest of the country due to the paucity of Covishield vaccine vials.
The Chief Minister had stated that orders have been placed with the SII and as and when the vials arrive, vaccination would begin.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong informed that the health department would be opening the registration portal in a “day or two” to find how many have registered for the vaccine for the age 18-44 age categories.
Voicing “unhappiness” at the vaccination rate in the state, Tynsong said, “Only 37-38 per cent of the population in the 45 and above age category has been vaccinated.
“We are not happy with the vaccination drive. We appeal to the people to come forward and get vaccinated,” the Deputy Chief Minister appealed.
As per the latest data released by the State Directorate of Health Services, 27,420 healthcare workers received the first dose of the vaccine and 19,231 received the second dose, 64,180 frontline workers got the first shot and 26,170 got the second jab, and 2,06,058 persons from among the general public were inoculated with the first dose and 26,428 were fully vaccinated with the
He said the state government would come up with a booklet in different local languages to address the fears and concerns surrounding the vaccine within some people.
“However, it’s the people who should try to understand that the vaccine is good and would protect them from the virus,” Tynsong said.
Tynsong informed that the hospital bed situation in the state is still “manageable at the moment.”
He said that 330 additional beds have been made available at the Indian Institute of Management – Shillong with 100 such beds with oxygen concentrators.
Another 100 beds are available at Umsawli and 40 of these beds are with oxygen concentrators.