The vaccine shot was administered on 30-year-old Dr Mridul Das in Gandhigram Primary Health Centre (PHC) in West Tripura district Credit: EastMojo Image

Agartala: The first phase of COVID-19 vaccination started in Tripura with immunisation drive at 17 session sites set up across eight districts of the state. A total of 1,399 health workers will receive the first dose shots of the Covidshield vaccine here on Saturday.

The first vaccine shot was administered on 30-year-old Dr Mridul Das in Gandhigram Primary Health Centre (PHC) in West Tripura district around 11:15 am which was followed by Dr Ankur Roy, dental surgeon from the same hospital.

Tripura received 56,500 doses in the first tranche which will be used to vaccinate 55 percent of the total health workers out of 45,432 in the state.

Also Read: Tripura receives 56,500 doses of Covidshield vaccine

Also Read: COVID-19 vaccination drive in the Northeast: A bumpy ride ahead?

When asked about rumours and insecurity among health staff over the vaccine’s effectiveness, Das said that the government took the initiative after much verification, checkups and trails. “If we don’t trust the vaccine, it means we don’t trust our scientists and governments. We need to trust them,” Das added.

A total of 100 health staff, including the doctors, staff nurse, office staff, RBSK team, Lab technician, MPW staff, 26 ASHA and 44 Anganwadi workers will get the vaccine at Gandhigram PHC.

Another, Dr Ankur Roy, a dental surgeon who was the second receiver of vaccine shot, said the vaccine passed various levels.

“I appeal to all the health staff to take the vaccine and come forward to combat the virus. I was very excited to take the vaccine and very much prepared. I had no hesitation,” Roy said.

Also Read: Tripura: Only 55% health staff to get COVID-19 vaccine from 1st tranche

Among the frontline workers in Tripura, ASHA, and Anganwadi workers led the fight from the front visiting the house identifying symptomatic patients.

Rinku Sutradhar, an Anganwadi worker, received the dose of the vaccine in Gandhigram PHC on Saturday.

Speaking with EastMojo, Sutradhar works at the Pluto Nagar Sub centre under Gandhigram PHC said that she has been visiting houses during the lockdown meeting people and identifying symptomatic patients.

“I received a message on her mobile phone and a phone call from the MPW staff asking me to remain present with my identity card and bank passbook for verification before getting the vaccine shot on Saturday,” Sutradhar said.

Rinku Sutradhar, Anganwad worker who received the shot of covid-19 vaccine in Gandhigram PHC on Saturday

She also said that she would urge her other colleagues to take the vaccine without any fear, adding, “I have not felt any uneasiness after taking the vaccine. I would visit people in my area and ask them to take the vaccine,” she added.

Meanwhile, West District Chief Medical Officer, Dr Debasish Das, said that three session sites, including Gandhigram PHC, East Bubanban PHC and Tripura Medical College were selected for vaccination on the first day.

“In every session site, we have kept three rooms. In the first room after authentication of the beneficiaries with the list provided to them, they will wait before heading towards the vaccination room to get the shots and wait for another 30 minutes in the observation room. We have also made arrangements for adverse events following immunization (AEFI) to provide treatment with trained staff,” Das said.

Also Read: Nagaland: Poor internet to delay launch of COVID-19 vaccine in 2 districts

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