GUWAHATI, Jan 11: An effective knowledge infrastructure is the bedrock for an effective COVID vaccination process.
This was the view of experts during a webinar organized by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) Guwahati on the topic ‘FAQs for effective COVID-19 vaccination process for all North Eastern states’ here today.
Experts from the medical fraternity along with academicians deliberated and discussed at length the frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to inoculation, COVID-19 vaccination process and its awareness from medical, psychological, academic, societal and policy perspectives during the event.
Dr Subhas Singh, Director and Head of the Department (HoD) of Organon of Medicine, Chronic Diseases, Homeopathic Philosophy and Medicine at the National Institute of Homeopathy, Kolkata, said that technology and public information awareness are the pivotal drivers for successful COVID-19 vaccination.
He said that the role of media and journalists is essentially not only about information communication but also a responsibility to provide timely information to citizens of the country in various districts, towns and villages.
Dr Singh said that the first group to be vaccinated would include healthcare and frontline workers, while the second group would be persons aged more than 50 years and those with co-morbidities. He added that subsequently the vaccine would be made available to all others.
He said it is essential that those in the high-risk group be vaccinated on priority.
Dr Manzoor Ahmad, MS (Surgery) at the ZVM Unani Medical College and Hospital, Pune, said that there is nothing to worry or be concerned about the efficacy as the COVID-19 vaccine has been introduced in the country only after regulatory bodies have provided permission on vital aspects such as safety and efficacy.
Dr Lopamudra Datta, Principal of the Guru Nanak Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, said that the COVID-19 vaccination process is a very planned one.
Talking about the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs’ regular awareness initiatives, Dr Datta said that the Subject Expert Committee of Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) had many discussions as the Phase I and Phase II clinical trials were done.
She said that one of the common questions related to the vaccine is whether a COVID recovered person needs to take the vaccine. She said it is advisable to have a complete schedule of the vaccine irrespective of the past history of infection.
LR Sailo, Regional Director of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Aizawl, emphasised the role of media and communication during the vaccination drive.
He said that health department officials and doctors have led and demonstrated their diligence in tackling the COVID-19 situation, and urged the youths and also the senior members of families to be positive and to be psychologically strong and optimistic.
Sunil Kalai, HoD in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Tripura University, said it is essential that the entire schedule of vaccination is completed by only one type of vaccine as different COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable.
He said that multiple vaccines should not be tried by one person as each vaccine works in a manner which is different from the other.
The webinar was planned and coordinated by Samrat Bandyopadhyay, Joint Director (Media & Communication), PIB Guwahati. Senior officers of PIB were present on the occasion.