A Media & Health Officials sensitization workshop on COVID-19 Vaccination

Gangtok, January 13 (IPR): A Media and Health Officials sensitization workshop on COVID-19 Vaccination, organised by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Sikkim, in collaboration with UNICEF and National Health Mission, was held at a local hotel in Sichey, today.
The workshop had the presence of DG-cum Secretary Health, Dr. Pempa T. Bhutia, Medical Superintendent STNM Hospital and CRH, Health Officials and media personnel.
A detailed presentation on COVID-19 Vaccination was delivered by Director/State Immunization Officer, Dr. Phumzay Denzongpa, wherein she apprised the gathering about the arrival of 12,500 doses of COVIDSHIELD vaccine from Serum Institute of India, in Sikkim for the launch of COVID-19 vaccination on the 16th of January 2021.
Dr. Denzongpa informed that the vaccination drive will be carried out in sequential groups, first of which will be availed by the Health care workers, the second group will consist of all the frontline workers and the third will be prioritised groups of people aged above 50 years and below 50 years with comorbidities. 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. She informed that two members of the Rapid Response Team from WHO and WCO India have been deployed to assist and oversee the vaccination drive in Sikkim.
It is also to be mentioned that the dry-run of COVID-19 vaccination in Sikkim has already been completed, with an objective – to test operational feasibility of Co-WIN in the large social scale, to assess linkages between planning, implementation and reporting mechanisms, to identify challenges and address them before actual implementation and to provide confidence to programme managers at various levels.
During the workshop, Communication Plan for COVID-19 vaccination was made by DHEO STNM, Shri Sonam Gyatso Bhutia, wherein he emphasised the importance of “Appropriate Message on Appropriate Platform”. Dr. Sonam mentioned the vital role that the media plays to deliver credible news to the general populace. He also mentioned that the impact of fake news is immense and that fact-checking of fake news and hoax is mandatory through various fact-check portals to curb misinformation.
DG- cum- Secretary Health, Dr. Pempa T. Bhutia in his address thanked the media for their co-operation from the start of the pandemic until now and further. He sought the teamwork from the health department, all the line departments and the media to continue proper dissemination of information to create mass awareness.
Dr. Pempa mentioned that COVID-19 vaccine is safe and immunogenic. He emphasised on the importance to maintain COVID-19 appropriate behaviour at all times during and after the vaccination by all individuals, for protection against the virus.

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