Around 26,500 health workers in Meghalaya will receive the Covid-19 vaccine once it is rolled out by the central government, Director of Health Services, Dr Aman Warr said today.
However, the timeframe for vaccination will depend on how many people are trained to administer the vaccine.
“We have to see how many people we have got with us who will administer this vaccine and based on that we can calculate how much time it will take,” Dr Warr said, adding that the timeframe will also depend on how many health facilities will be nominated to carry out the vaccination drive.
Health workers are the first priority as they form the backbone of the health service.
“Every time health workers become infected it affects the smooth functioning of the facility in which they are working,” the DHS said.
After health workers will come other frontline workers, including those of Covid management teams in the Dorbar Shnongs, people who are above 50 years old and those with co-morbidities.
Children below 18 and pregnant mothers will not receive the vaccine, at least for the time being. The latter have not been included as vaccine safety tests have not been carried out on pregnant women.
Dr Warr also said that the vaccination programme for Covid-19 will be carried out simultaneously with immunisation programmes for other diseases.
“Immunisation services for children and pregnant mothers will run side by side. We are not going to disrupt any programme,” he said.
On fears regarding the vaccines’ safety, Dr Warr said that all medicines can cause complications in certain individuals, but for the vast majority the vaccine will pose no harm and if the world wants to return to pre-Covid normalcy the vaccine will have to be embraced.