Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh launched vaccination drive of COVID-19 vaccine (Covishield) in the State in a function held at Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) on Saturday.
The 1st phase vaccination in the State will be carried out in 10 centres viz. JNIMS Hospital, RIMS Hospital, Shija Hospitals and Research Institute and District Hospitals of Churachandpur, Bishnupur, Senapati, Chandel, Ukhrul, Thoubal, Tamenglong. 9617 healthcare workers will receive vaccination in this Phase. In the 2nd Phase, other frontline warriors will be inoculated. In the 3rd and 4th phase, persons above 50 years of age and people below 50 years of age with co-morbidity will be vaccinated respectively.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister urged the public not to make negative comments about the vaccine without valid scientific proof. As it may create suspicion and hesitation in people’s mind, such persons can be penalized under relevant Acts, the Chief Minister cautioned.
Containing such a highly contagious virus in a largely populated country like India having a population of more than 130 crore people can’t be easy at all. If it were not for the farsighted vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his timely effective preventive measures, the country could have experienced transmission and casualty in greater scale. Under his supervision, the Chief Minister said, India took up preventive measures as early as January 2020.
In Manipur as well, N. Biren Singh said that the State Government announced lockdown even before the Centre announced it. He also said that the State Government also wholeheartedly took up different measures to contain the virus at maximum level. Despite criticism from some sections of the public, Manipur was among the few States which brought back its citizens in Shramik trains, he added. The State also not only opened quarantine centres and COVID Care Centres on time but also acquired necessary equipment and recruited required manpower without any delay, he added.
N. Biren Singh also appreciated the hard work of researchers and scientists of the country for developing COVID vaccines on time. No matter people and the Government have received a huge relief with this invention, the lesson of being kind to every creature and the nature, which COVID pandemic has taught, must never be forgotten, he added.
Developed by Oxford University and Astra-Zeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute of India, Covishield has already undergone the required 3 levels of human trials. The Drugs Controller General of India has declared safe, immunogenic and efficacious. 54,000 doses of the vaccine arrived in the State on January 13, 2021.
The State Government has identified and kept ready 246 session sites spread across 16 districts for vaccination. All these sites have been checked through Dry Runs.