Guwahati, January 16: Assam joined the nation in launching the COVID-19 vaccination drive on Saturday, with a medical officer in Golaghat district becoming the first person in the state to receive the jab.
Dr Milan Kumar Laskar, the sub-divisional medical officer of Bokakhat, was administered the shot at 11.07 am at a public health centre, right after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on the occasion.
Later, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched the state-wide drive at Assam Medical College Hospital (AMCH) in Dibrugarh, and Minister for Health and Family Welfare Himanta Biswa Sarma at Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) here.
At GMCH, retired vice chancellor of Sankardeva University of Health Sciences, Dr Umesh Chandra Sarma, was the first person to receive the shot, followed by 11 other prominent doctors, including its principal Dr Achyut Baishya and superintendent Dr Abhijeet Sharma.
Similarly, in AMCH, its principal Dr Sanjiv Kakoti was administered the first dose.
The chief minister, after launching the drive, said that it was a “moment of pride for the entire nation and a major step towards realising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, made possible only due to his able leadership”.
He expressed hope that the people of the state will cooperate and make this exercise a success.
Sarma, on his part, stated that that the “day was both momentous and emotional for us. It is a proud day for all Indians, and it is also a day to offer our gratitude and thanks to doctors and all health workers who fought relentlessly against the virus last year”.
An estimated 6,500 of the 1.9 lakh registered health workers, designated as COVID warriors, will be administered the vaccine on the first day at 65 centres, set up in seven medical college hospitals and 24 district and sub-divisional medical establishments.
During the second phase, one lakh frontline workers including security forces will be inoculated.
The state has received 2,21,500 doses so far — 2,01,500 COVISHIELD and 20,000 COVAXIN.
As many as 2.9 lakh people in Assam have been registered on the ‘CO-WIN’ portal — an online platform for monitoring the delivery of COVID-19 vaccine. (PTI)