CM N Biren Singh launching the vaccination drive on Saturday Credit: EastMojo image

Imphal: Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh officially launched the COVID-19 vaccination programme at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) auditorium. He was joined by Dr Sapam Rajen, advisor to CM (health), chief secretary Rajesh Kumar, JNIMS officials, healthcare workers and medical students.

A total of 1,000 beneficiaries, mostly healthcare workers, received the first dose of vaccination at ten identified sites in the state, including one private hospital in Imphal.

JNIMS Director Th Bhimo and medical superintendent Dr Lokeshwor Singh were among the healthcare workers vaccinated.

During the vaccination programme, N Romesh Singh of Khurai Thoudam Leikai became the first person to receive the first dose of Covishield at JNIMS site. Romesh works at JNIMS hospital as an attendant.

“I don’t feel any discomfort or sickness. I am happy receiving the vaccination dose for COVID-19,” said Romesh, a beneficiary.

The first lot of beneficiaries should be the ones who were exposed to the virus directly, such as those healthcare workers at the grade IV level and others, said JNIMS medical superintendent Dr Lokeshwor Singh.

N Romesh Singh receiving the 1st dose of vaccine at JNIMS

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JNIMS medical superintendent Dr Lokeshwor Singh getting the shot of vaccination

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JNIMS director Th Bhimo received the vaccine on the launching day of vaccination drive on Saturday

According to additional chief secretary Paulunthang Vaiphei, despite the health and family welfare identifying ten sites for vaccination in Manipur, the state government is prepared to expand it to 246 sites.

The state has already installed two working coolers to store vaccines, 12 vaccine vans with provisions to outsource additional vaccine vans if required and established 126 cogent points.

Few hiccups during the dry runs that have been identified have been resolved to a great extent. And we are confident that the department will carry forward this largest vaccine drive, added Vaiphei.

As per the official, the healthcare workers will be given the top priority for vaccination as they are directly exposed to the virus. The second priority will be frontline workers of COVID-19, followed by people above 50. People who are less than the age of 50 years with co-morbidities will be vaccinated later.

People who have vaccinated or received the first dose will receive the second dose of Covishield after 28 days of vaccination, said the official.

Covishied is developed by Oxford University in association with AstraZeneca vaccine and manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune.

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