Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) Tuesday claimed that 99 percent of Jammu and Kashmir population had not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 so far.
“That means most of the people are still susceptible to COVID-19 infection,” DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan said in a statement issued here.
“As per the vaccination data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, J&K has administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to 6,34,953 people as on March 30, 2021. The figure represents 5 percent of J&K’s 1.25 crore population. Full vaccination (both doses) has been given to 1,42,895 people which represents 1 percent of the population,” he said. “We need to vaccinate around 70 percent of the population to bring an end to the ongoing public health crisis. When enough people are vaccinated, virus can’t find any host to survive, replicate and move on. This is how pandemic will subside. But with current vaccination rate, it will take years to a decade to reach the goal.”
Dr Hassan termed the “vaccine hesitancy” a cause of major concern. “People are not coming forward for the vaccine. Misinformation and wrong perceptions about the vaccine are keeping people away from the vaccine. Another reason why the goal can’t be achieved is because children who constitute a huge proportion of the population are not vaccinated. There are around 4.8 million children in J&K who can’t be vaccinated,” he said. “Vaccine is the only way to stop the pandemic. In order to get back to normal, we need enough people to get vaccinated. The sooner we get more people vaccinated, the sooner we start reliving our lives. The best way to circumvent COVID-19 variants is to continue to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible. If we leave a large number of the population unimmunised, we will not be able to break the chain of infection and pandemic will linger on. And, we will continue to have fresh waves of COVID-19 infection.”