Covishield vaccine vials for TN’s central districts reach Tiruchi

Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar emphasised that both the vaccines — Covishield from SII and Covaxin from Bharat Biotech — have been tested and approved of after a series of trials

The Tiruchi regional vaccine store (RVS) received a total of 68,800 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as its first consignment from Chennai early on Wednesday morning.

The Covishield vaccine, supplied by the Serum Institute of India, had reached Chennai on Tuesday, from where it was dispatched to various RVS points in the State for the first phase of the vaccination drive to begin on January 16.

Of the 68,800 doses, Tiruchi has been allotted 17,100 vials, while the remaining doses have been sent to: Ariyalur 3,300 vials, Perambalur 5,100, Pudukottai 3,800 and 3,100 in Aranthangi, Karur 7,800, Thanjavur 15,500, Tiruvarur 6,700 and Nagapattinam 6,400.

The consignment was inspected by Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar, Tourism Minister Vellamandi N. Natarajan, Minister for Minority Welfare S. Valarmathi and District Collector S. Sivarasu.

Two doses to be given

Speaking to reporters after the inspection, Mr. Vijayabaskar said that two doses of the vaccine would be given in a 28-day interval. “According to norms, healthcare workers will be administered the vaccine in the first phase. After their vaccination is completed, frontline workers, people with co-morbidities and the general public would be given the vaccine,” he said.

‘Both vaccines approved’

Mr. Vijayabaskar insisted that both the vaccines — Covishield from SII and Covaxin from Bharat Biotech have been tested and approved of after a series of trials. The decision to administer the vaccine to the frontline workers was taken only after good results emerged from various clinical trials. “We undertook trials for the vaccines in Tamil Nadu where promising results were observed. There is no need for unnecessary worry,” he said. The Health Minister requested the public not to believe in fake messages being forwarded on social media about the quality and the efficacy of the vaccines.

Following a successful dry run held on January 8 at five locations in Tiruchi- Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital, Inamkulathur ural Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC), Ramalinga Nagar Urban PHC, Manapparai Government Hospital, and Apollo Hospital, eight locations have been earmarked for phase one of the vaccination drive.

The eight locations — Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital, Manapparai Government Hospital, Srirangam Government Hospital, Lalgudi Government Hospital, Musiri Government Hospital, Inamkulathur Rural Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC), Puthanatham PHC and Ramalinga Nagar Urban PHC have been prepared to administer the vaccine from January 16 onwards, free of cost.

In Tiruchi, a total of 5,542 government healthcare providers, including paramedics, nurses and support staff have registered to receive vaccination. As many as 7,000 private healthcare workers and 2,874 anganwadi workers have also registered.

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