People 'distressed' as vaccines run dry in Bandipora

Representational Photo

The unavailability of Covishield vaccines in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district is distressing those seeking the jab, with authorities saying that the dried out stocks are being replenished.

With the upsurge in COVID-19 cases across Jammu and Kashmir, the demand for vaccines has gone up with many seeking the dose to avoid hospitalisation.

Though the Government has said that the supplies were being replenished with a fresh consignment of vaccines, while also kick-starting inoculation drive for 18 to 45 years age group in capital cities, on Saturday, many locals across the district claimed that they were distressed as no vaccines were available for 45 years and above age group, some among these seeking a second dose.

“I have called everyone in the medical block but without luck. I am feeling extremely worried for my aged parents,” Ahmad, a health worker said.

With health experts and the government suggesting to take only Covishield as a second dose too, the unavailability has plunged the families into distress who are worried if the vaccines would be available anytime soon.

The administration which had opened the extra vaccination centres last month, according to the locals, have been forced shut as there is no availability of vaccines for at least two days.

“Not a single vaccine is available in Bandipora anywhere. Not even for 45-year-olds,” Zahid Ahmad, a youth from Hajin block said.

He also wrote on Twitter tagging all the officials he could find on the social media site.

Ahmad said he was surprised to witness vaccination centres closed.

Chief Medical Officer, Bandipora, Dr Bashir Ahmad Khan, while confirming the unavailability of vaccines in the district said, “Saturday evening, we received around 4000 Covishield doses and the inoculation drive will re-initiate in a day for 45 plus age group.”

According to the District Immunization Officer, Dr Parvaiz, 71,008 persons had taken the jab in this north Kashmir district till Sunday with 63,190 having taken a single dose while the rest 7818 having taken both the doses.

He also accepted that inoculation was on halt for some time as they had run out of the vaccines but added that around 4000 vaccines had arrived in Bandipora now.