Vaccine shortage sparks anger among people in Kupwara

Image used for representational purpose only [GK File/Aman Farooq]

After witnessing a sharp increase in COVID-19 vaccination for the past week across north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, the designated vaccination centers on Saturday wore a deserted look due to shortage of vaccines, forcing people to return unvaccinated.

“First we were apprehensive about taking COVID-19 jab after divergent rumours surfaced on social media about it and now when we have made our mind to take the vaccine, we are being told to come another day as the vaccines have gone out of stock here,” said Farooq Ahmad who had reached District Hospital Handwara to take the jab.

A senior official at Block Medical Office Handwara said that for the last three days vaccines had gone out of stock and the designated COVID-19 vaccination centers including DH Handwara, PHC Natnusa, PHC Chogal, PHC Magam and PHC Batpora could not carry on with vaccination.

He said that at the outset of vaccination process people were apprehensive and did not turn to vaccination centers but now they had understood its significance and were coming out in good numbers for vaccination.

Complaints kept pouring in from Kupwara as well where people expressed strong resentment against the non-availability of vaccines.

“I have been visiting the vaccination center at Sub District Hospital Kupwara for the past two days but every time we are being sent back unvaccinated,” said a youth who had reached here with his old father to get him vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Kupwara Dr Kowsar Amin admitted that there was a shortage of vaccines and said that it would be made available soon.

“A large number of people coming forward for vaccination is indeed a welcome step and it is better that people also wear facemasks and follow social distancing so that this deadly virus does not prove detrimental,” she told Greater Kashmir.