A media and health officials sensitization workshop on the COVID 19 vaccination, had been organised by the department of health and family welfare, Government of Sikkim in collaboration with UNICEF and National Health Mission, at Gangtok two days ago.
A detailed presentation on the vaccination was delivered by the state immunization officer, Dr. Phumzay Denzongpa. She had apprised that the vaccination drive shall be carried out in sequential groups. The first group comprises of health care workers, the second group consists of frontline workers and the third is essentially a prioritized group of people aged above 50 years and below 50 years with co morbidities.
She also informed on the database of beneficiaries who have registered to avail the vaccine as of 12.01.2021 and the allocation for the same. Denzongpa further informed that two members of the Rapid Response Team from WHO and WCO (World Customs Organisation) India have been deployed to assist and oversee the vaccination drive in Sikkim.
The senior healthcare officials addressing the workshop emphasised upon the need of maintaining COVID 19 appropriate behaviors during and after the vaccination by all individualsIt is also to be mentioned here that the dry run of COVID19 vaccination in Sikkim has already been completed. This was done with the objective of testing the operational feasibility of CoWIN on a large social scale, to assess linkages between the planning, implementation and reporting mechanisms and to identify challenges and address them before actual implementation. Providing a sense of assurance and confidence to programme managers at various levels was another parallel objective.
The communication plan for COVID 19 vaccination was presented by DHEO STNM Hospital, Dr Sonam Gyatso Bhutia. Dr. Bhutia stated that the impact of fake news is immense and therefore fact checking is mandatory (through various credible information portals) to curb misinformation about the vaccination drive.
The senior healthcare officials (basically senior doctors of reputed hospitals in the state) who were addressing the workshop emphasised on the importance of maintaining COVID 19 appropriate behavior at all times during and after the vaccination by all individuals. They also stated that the vaccine is safe and immunogenic.