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Nagaland launches COVID-19 vaccination drive

Dr Sendimeren at Kohima
Dr Sendimeren Aonok receiving the first shot of Covid vaccine at Kohima on January 16, 2021

Rev Keyho clarifies on “prophecy” against COVID-19 injection; Dr Aonok receives first shot

KOHIMA, JANUARY 16: “As we launch this COVID-19 vaccine, I hope it will work wonderfully, keep us from sickness and help us remain healthy,” said Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio during the launch of COVID-19 Vaccine here at Naga Hospital Authority Kohima, (NHAK) on January 16.

The chief minister expressed happiness at being part of the State launching programme of COVID-Vaccine along with the rest of India.
He said, “I am happy that Nagaland could participate in this manner across 9 locations. We had a meeting with the Health department and we directed that all the MLAs should reach the location to give encouragement to the healthcare workers.”
Rio also noted that the healthcare workers deserve to be the first ones to receive the vaccine. While expressing satisfaction that India could produce its ‘Made In India’ vaccine for its own use and export, Rio lauded the efforts of Serum Institute of India, in collaboration with Oxford Institute and AstraZeneca, in coming up with a vaccine within a short span of time.
“The vaccine had an efficacy of 70% during the clinical trials and has indicated a good level of immunoglobulin and has created sufficient antibodies,” he said.
Not only this, the scientist has said that the vaccine will be effective against the new strain of COVID-19, the chief minister added.
Rio also reiterated that a person has to be registered through the Co-WIN portal in order to receive the vaccine. He informed that the vaccine will be administered in two doses 28 days apart and will ensure maximum protection only after 42 days from the first dose.
Healthcare workers will be the beneficiaries in the first phase, followed by frontline workers in the second phase. The third phase will be for people above 50 years and the fourth phase of the vaccination will be for people above 18 years and below 50 years with comorbidity symptoms and other health risk factors.
In this regard, Rio said that opportunity will come for everyone and urged citizens not to panic. He further encouraged the people to get registered with the authorities so that all will get the opportunity in due course of time.
Rio also said that he has shared concern with the Church leaders on January 15 about the wide circulation of a “prophecy” issued by a ministry which, among others, claims that the vaccination drive “is not the will of God”.
According to the chief minister, this kind of prophecy may cause a lot of panic in a Christian-dominated state like Nagaland.
Also present at the launch, NBCC General Secretary, Rev. Zelhou Keyho shared his views on the “prophecy”.
He said, “We are always confused in a situation like this because our faith has become very situational.”
He went on to state that “we do not condemn nor do we endorse everything they say”.
Keyho said that there is true as well as false prophecy and “we need God’s wisdom to discern right from wrong. And this is what we are lacking because we are easily swayed away and we get confused”.
Rev Keyho maintained that to say that “our salvation will be taken away” because of a certain vaccination is contrary to the Bible and Christian faith.
“We have our doubts and apprehension in the efficacy of the vaccine like any other but we leave that to the experts and not to lay people like me,” stressed the NBCC General secretary.
In his concluding remarks, Keyho said, “Our role is to pray that God will use this vaccine for the greater good of our community.”

Nagaland’s first recipient of the Covid-19 vaccine (Covishield) was 54-year-old Dr. Sendimeren Aonok, Consultant, HOD-Critical Care Department, NHAK. Sharing his experience after his first dose of the Covishield at the observation room at NHAK, Aonok said: “I have just received the first dose of the vaccine and the injection was painless. So far I feel normal and I’d like to encourage everyone to take this vaccine, it is safe.”
Aonok also said that the derivative of Covidshield is not from the DNA but the mRNA of the virus which is the lab-cultured virus and has been incorporated in such a way to trigger the immune response for the body to develop antibodies against the virus. ( Page News Service)