J&K expects first batch of COVID19 vaccine today

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J&K is expecting to receive 2.5 lakh doses of COVID19 vaccines on Monday. The first batch will be administered to the healthcare workers here. The drive for administering the vaccine will start at Srinagar and Jammu on 16 January.

Financial Commissioner (FC) Health and Medical Education, Atal Dulloo said the department has done the ground work and mock drills have been completed successfully. “We are awaiting our first batch now to start vaccination in line with the nationwide drive planned on 16 January,” he said.

The FC said that 2.5 lakh doses of the vaccine were arriving to cater to 1 lakh healthcare workers, whose database had already been prepared and shared with the Union health ministry. Two doses of vaccine would be administered to each recipient at an interval of 28 days.

He said that it had been ‘indicated’ that Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India for Astra-Zeneca will be sent for the first vaccination drive here.

State Immunization Officer, Dr Qazi Haroon said that the vaccines were ‘on the way’ and would reach the central storage site here tomorrow.

He said LG Manoj Sinha would kick start the drive on 16 January at Jammu, simultaneously, the first shot in Kashmir division would be administered at SKIMS Soura. He said that J&K Government had started preparing a database of frontline workers, other than healthcare workers and the same would be ready soon. “It would include police and security forces among others,” he said.

Dr Haroon said more supply of vaccines would arrive in coming weeks which would be used to vaccinate “this lot” as per guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The decision to start the vaccination drive was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday. The first phase of the drive will cover 30 crore people.

J&K health department has identified manpower for the mega-vaccination drive and they, Dr Haroon said, have been trained to carry out the exercise as per the protocol laid down for the process.

As per a government official, 5513 vaccinators have been deployed across the two divisions. The vaccine will be stored at 610 cold storage points, while 3412 vaccination sites have been designated. To ensure smooth supply, 79 vehicles have been deployed exclusively for transportation of the vaccine across the 20 districts.