Kashmir doctors' body seeks in-home Covid-19 vaccination for housebound seniors

GK File/Aman Farooq

With Covid-19 vaccination for senior citizens starting from March 01, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Saturday urged authorities in Jammu and Kashmir to vaccinate housebound elderly at home.

“Many seniors are homebound and won’t be able to visit a vaccination center,” said DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan.

“Vast majority of senior citizens have multiple chronic medical conditions and are being taken care at home.”

“There are those whose health or illness could get worse if they leave home,” he said.

“People with chronic obstructive lung disease who are dependent on oxygen can’t move out.”

“Many seniors have hearing problem, vision loss, cognitive impairment, incontinence, dementia and mobility problems,” DAK President said.

“They are completely dependent on their family members and medical equipments for even their routine daily activities.”

“It is extremely difficult for these frail and elderly to get out and attend vaccination clinics,” he said.

“We must reach out to them and vaccinate them in their homes.”

“Being housebound doesn’t eliminate their risk of Covid-19 infection; they can get it through their caregivers, family members and visitors,” Dr Nisar said.

“Vaccinating seniors is critical as they are more vulnerable to severe infection and death from the novel coronavirus.”

“Elderly and those with underlying medical conditions have weak immune system that promotes viral replication leaving them at a higher risk of developing severe complications from the virus,” he said.

“They have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, dying at higher rates than the general population.”

“If we are not able to vaccinate our older population, we will continue to see the virus among the most vulnerable and won’t be able to prevent and control the spread of the disease,” said Dr Nisar.

“We go door to door for vaccinating children against polio, why can’t we take Covid-19 vaccine to our seniors at home.”

“Offering vaccines to housebound elderly at home would increase the vaccination rate among seniors that would save lives and help bring an end to the ongoing public health crisis,” he said.