Dr A G Ahanger, Director SKIMS, was the first health care worker to take the Covid-19 vaccine shot in Kashmir, and one among the 2000 on Saturday.
Advisor to LG, Rajiv R Bhatnagar, along with other senior officials of the health department and district administration inaugurated the vaccination drive for Kashmir division at SKIMS Soura today. Director SKIMS, Dr Ahangar volunteered to take the first shot of the vaccine as a mark of ‘assurance’. He said the vaccine would be available for every healthcare worker across J&K and his decision to take the shot first was to boost the “morale and confidence” of people in this “game changing” injection.
Dr Ahanger said that SKIMS is among major vaccination sites identified in J&K. He recounted the “exemplary work that SKIMS Soura had done during the pandemic” and assured that the Institute would ensure the protection of its frontline workers. “Everyone here will be vaccinated as per the laid down protocol,” he said.
During the seven hours of the vaccination campaign for the first day, 42 healthcare workers were vaccinated at the Institute. As per the program, 100 people had been lined up for the vaccination drive. Dr Farooq Jan, medical superintendent SKIMS said more healthcare workers would get the jab in coming days. “Vaccination will pick up a great deal as we move ahead,” he said. He said the vaccine was taken by 12 heads of the departments of SKIMS Soura today.
The event was attended by DC Srinagar, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Mayor SMC Junaid Azim Mattu, Director Health Services, Kashmir, Principal GMC Srinagar, Principal SKIMS Bemina and Heads of various departments.
“Across J&K, 2000 people were vaccinated today,” Dr Qazi Haroon, State Immunization Officer J&K said. “Although 4000 people were expected to receive the vaccine today, but COVID19 vaccine being an entirely new entity, it was expected that many would turn up later. It was a successful day. Across districts, including the most far flung ones doctors, nurses and other categories of healthcare workers took the shot today,” he said. He said no adverse drug reaction was reported from anywhere in J&K.
At many other hospitals, doctors or heads volunteered to take the first shot of the vaccine to reassure people about the safety of the vaccine. At JLNM Hospital, Dr Bilquees Shah, in-charge of COVID19 took the first injection.