J&K receives first consignment of 1.46 lakh COVID vaccine doses

Amidst anticipation, J&K today received the first consignment of 1.46 lakh of COVID19 vaccines which will be administered to a select lot of healthcare workers on 16 January at 30 locations.

Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department, Atal Duloo, said J&K had prepared its healthcare setup to carry out the vaccination drive successfully. He said an air cargo brought 79000 Covishield vaccines to Srinagar Airport while a load of 67500 vaccines reached Jammu Airport. “We are expecting more vaccines soon to cater to the requirement of a second dose which is to be given 28 days after the first one,” he said.

The 1.465 lakh vaccines were expected to arrive on 11 January but the dispatch to states from Serum Institute of India, where these have been manufactured, got delayed. State Immunization Officer, Dr Qazi Haroon, said the vaccines were transported to Drug Warehouse in Barzulla today and would be distributed to all the districts of the division tomorrow. In Jammu division, the vaccines were transported to Divisional Vaccine Store. “Each district has been instructed to send a cold chain vehicle to take the vaccines to district headquarters from where these can be picked up for block level,” he said. He said 680 cold chain points, including 350 in Kashmir division were ready for the vaccines.

Dr Haroon said the Control Rooms were ready to monitor and address any issue that may arise in the drive. The vaccination drive in J&K is set to cover a lakh healthcare workers  in the first phase. He said the vaccines will be sent to the difficult terrain areas of Bandipora and Kupwara district through helicopters. “We will be starting with 30 locations across J&K on 16th but will supply over 1000 vaccination sites soon,” he said.

The vaccination drive will be inaugurated by LG Manoj Sinha on 16 January at GMC Jammu while at SKIMS Soura, the program is yet to be finalized, officials said.