By TRN Online, Kathmandu, Jan. 27: The COVID-19 vaccination drive has kicked off in Nepal from today. In the first phase of the vaccination campaign, front-line health workers including doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, people involved in the management of the dead body of virus-infected people, and ambulance drivers among others are being vaccinated across the nation.
India had provided one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine called 'Covisheld' to Nepal under grant assistance.
According to our Biratnagar correspondent Nabaraj Kattel, eight districts in Province 1 have started administering the COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Chumanlal Das and consultant physician Dr. Deepak Sigdel of Koshi Hospital were the first ones to be vaccinated in Province 1.
In a programme held at the premises of the COVID-19 center within Koshi Hospital, receiving the vaccine, Dr. Das and Sigdel extended their gratitude to the government.
Thanking the government for providing vaccines to the healthcare workers in the first phase, medical superintendent Dr. Das requested the government to make arrangements for the vaccine necessary for the general public. "I believe now the threat of pandemic will decrease gradually," he added.
Likewise, Dr. Sigdel requested everyone to not believe the rumors floating around regarding the side effects or ineffectiveness of the vaccine. "We can be safe from the novel coronavirus only through vaccination. As the vaccines are given to humans only after their effectiveness is proved through various researches and investigations, everyone must join hands with the government in this vaccination campaign," he said.
Minister for Internal Affairs and Law and Minister for Social Development of Province 1 Hikmat Kumar Karki was the chief guest in the programme.
The vaccination drive will now move on in Province one from 19 vaccination centers set up in eight districts. According to Gyan Bahadur Basnet, director of Province Health Directorate, 28,605 front line workers in eight districts of Province 1 would be vaccinated within 10 days.
Likewise, the vaccination would begin in the remaining four districts from Thursday and in two districts from Friday.
COVID-19 vaccine will be administered to 35,576 front line health workers in Province 1.
Similarly, according to our Nepalgunj (Banke) correspondent Siraj Khan, the vaccination drive had begun in Nepalgunj by vaccinating Dr. Prakash Thapa, chief of Nepalgunj-based Bheri Hospital.
Ram Bahadur Kurumbang, Chief District Officer of Banke and Chairman of District Vaccine Management Committee informed that the vaccination campaign had kicked off along with the vaccination of Dr. Prakash Thapa by health worker Kamala Sah.
Ajaya Kumar Srivastav, chief of the District Coordination Committee, had handed over the vaccines to the health workers. Speaking at the programme, Srivastav said, "As the arrival of vaccines has boosted the will power of citizens, we will now defeat the pandemic shortly."
Likewise, Dr. Thapa said, "As various doubts are being raised regarding the safety of the vaccine, I decided to get vaccinated first in order to clear all doubts."
Stressing that vaccination was necessary to defeat the pandemic, Dr. Thapa clarified that the rumors regarding the Covishield vaccine were baseless.
Dhir Jung Sah, chief of District Health Office, Banke informed that 400 front line workers would be vaccinated in Banke in the first phase. "Of the 17,000 vaccines received by Banke, currently, only 7,500 people falling under the priority will be vaccinated," he added.
Chief Sah said that the second dose would be provided within a month.
Moreover, according to our Baglung Correspondent Nabin Sishir BK, the vaccination campaign had started in Baglung by administering the vaccine to Dr. Diwakar Parajuli, chief of Dhaulagiri Hospital.
The District Health Office, Baglung has aimed to vaccinate 1,714 health workers in the first phase.