Guwahati: Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Monday as the state government launched the third phase of the inoculation drive for senior citizens and people in the age group of 45-59 with comorbidities.

The 52-year-old minister was administered the first dose of the vaccine at the Gauhati Medical College Hospital where several prominent people, including retired bureaucrats, also received their first dose.

“As people above 45 years with co-morbidities are eligible, I took my first dose of #COVID19 vaccine at GMCH today. All those under this category are advised to take their doses”, the minister tweeted.

He further said that hospitals across Assam are geared up for speedy roll out of vaccination.

Among the prominent beneficiaries above the age of 60 are three former chief secretaries Alok Kumar, V K Pipersenia and T Y Das, Special Director General of Police G P Singh, former Vice-Chancellor of Tezpur University Dr Amarjyoti Choudhury, singers Samar Hazarika, Malabika Bora, Pahari Das, social workers Vijoy Patiar and Minati Barthakur and author Mitra Phukan among others.

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Around 763 beneficiaries aged 60 years and above, and 224 between 45 to 59 years with comorbidities have been administered the first dose of vaccine in the third phase during the day, according to a bulletin issued by the National Health Mission, Assam.

Besides, 676 healthcare workers and 3,937 frontline workers have also received the vaccine, while 1,418 healthcare workers and nine frontline workers received the second dose during the day.

There has been no report of Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI) so far.

Assam till date has reported 2,17,537 COVID-19 cases while 1,092 persons have succumbed to the disease.

The state currently has 268 active COVID-19 cases, while 2,14,830 people have recovered from the disease so far.

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