J&K police, SFs to get COVID vaccine from Feb 4

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Police personnel, security forces (SFs) and other frontline workers will get COVID19 vaccine from 4 February in J&K. This second drive of vaccination would go on simultaneously with the vaccination of healthcare workers.

In the past two weeks, since COVID19 vaccination began in J&K, nearly 27,000 people have been vaccinated here, official figures reveal. While the government had planned a phase-wise delivery of the vaccine to various categories of frontline workers, healthcare professionals being the first in the list of priority, a recent central government direction has changed it. J&K government has prepared a list of 2 lakh frontline workers that will be given the COVID19 shot beginning 4 February, Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education, Atal Dulloo said.  He said this second drive of vaccination would go on simultaneously with the vaccination of healthcare workers.

“We are trying to cover as many people as possible while following the risk assessment of workers by the union health ministry,” he said. He said that vaccination of healthcare workers had taken off well and over 25 percent of the target had been achieved.

On whether there would be any vaccination drive for teachers in the high risk category anytime soon, given that regular academic activities are expected to start in some weeks, he said, “We are awaiting GoI directions and it appears that teachers would be the next group of workers that will be vaccinated,” he said.

He said the UT was getting a regular supply of vaccines which would continue in future as per the requirements.

J&K Immunization Officer, Dr Qazi Haroon said the category that will be vaccinated from the first week of February will consist of police personnel, security forces, revenue officials, municipality workers and select group of Panchayat members. “Only yesterday did health ministry include the Panchayat members that were or are part of COVID19 response,” he said.

The vaccination of healthcare workers, 1 lakh of them registered in J&K, is expected to get completed by April, a senior official in the department said.

He said, in J&K, the initial apprehensions about the safety of the vaccine and the harsh weather pushed the timeline back. “We may not achieve 100 percent target for HCWs but we are doing better for the past one week, after many known figures in COVID19 response were seen getting vaccinated,” the official said.