Shillong: After recognising the press fraternity as frontline workers in Meghalaya, a total of 67 journalists were vaccinated against COVID-19 on Wednesday at the office of the Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) in Shillong.

The health workers started the vaccination process at 10 am and concluded at 5 pm.

Meghalaya government recognised the press fraternity as frontline workers after acknowledging that they were out on the field always to discharge their duties. Vaccination for journalists was also important, since they were bound to visit hospitals and other vulnerable areas.

Shillong Times reporter Lam Nongspung felt the need to get vaccinated for the safety of his wife, children and aged parents. “There is no cure to this virus, but at least the vaccination can help reduce the severity of the virus,” he said.

“We had been praying for this vaccine for the past one year. But now, when the vaccine is there, we are raising questions,” Nongspung added.

Nongspung was recently under quarantine after one of his colleagues tested positive for COVID-19. Following a negative Rapid Antigen Test report, he can come out to the field and carry out his duties.

West Lyngdoh, a reporter with Nongsaiñ Hima, said the vaccination would add a layer of protection against COVID-19. “The vaccination would help in boosting our immune system, especially since we are at the frontline to bring news and reports to the people of our state,” said Lyngdoh.

He added that it was wise of the state government to declare journalists as frontline workers.

“Being recognised as frontline workers, which enabled us to get the vaccine, is a morale booster,” mentioned Lyngdoh.

PTI reporter Banjo Mukhim said that in the interest of all concerned, the working journalists are functioning at the front meeting a lot of people and covering stories from ground zero. Hence, it was important to recognise them as frontline workers.

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