DHSK’s door-to-door campaign helped remove vaccine hesitancy

DHSK’s door-to-door campaign helped remove vaccine hesitancy
A farmer gets his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine as he ploughs his field, on Saturday 5 June 2021.Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar, June 25: When vaccination drive started in Kashmir division, rumors and hesitancy among the people were main irritants for authorities to overcome these obstacles. However, the healthcare workers instead of waiting for people to come to vaccination centres started a door-to-door vaccination drive which helped achieve desired results carrying over 20.5 lakh anti-Covid jabs.

From roping in influencers, prominent doctors, religious leaders, authorities in Kashmir division used almost every trick in the bag to remove vaccine hesitancy. However, the decision to administer vaccines to the people at home instead of waiting for them to come to the vaccination centres changed the whole game and the number of people coming forward for vaccination increased manifold.

As per the official data, over 20.5 lakh Covid jabs have been administered in Kashmir division so far out of over 41 lakh vaccinations done in J&K till June 24.

As per the details shared by the Health department, 2.7 lakh vaccines have been administered in Anantnag, 1.40 lakh in Kulgam, Shopian 88,501, Pulwama, 1.73 lakh, Srinagar 3.48 lakh, Budgam 2.58 lakh, Baramulla 3.60 lakh, Kupwara 1.87 lakh, Bandipora 1.14 lakh and Ganderbal 1.08 lakh.

“Initially, there was hesitancy and people were paying heed to rumours about vaccination and all such things created a problem. Then the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir directed its doctors and healthcare workers that they should not wait for the people to come over to vaccination centres, rather in areas where there is reluctance they should approach the people,” officials said. “This move helped a lot. We administered Covid vaccination even in paddy fields also under proper supervision of the doctors. The vaccination drive in Kashmir has won the applause of various quarters in the country which signifies the efforts put in by all the officials of DHSK.”

In Kashmir division, two districts - Shopian and Ganderbal - have achieved 100 percent vaccination above the 45-years age group.

Chief Medical Officer, Shopian, Dr Arshad Hussain Tak on how they managed to achieve 100 percent vaccination target said, “It was a teamwork helmed by the Director Health Services Kashmir who stressed on vaccination awareness among the masses. We got full support from the district administration as a result of which we were able to launch house-to-house vaccination campaign which helped in removing the myths and hesitancy among the people. We also roped in religious leaders to create awareness about the benefits of vaccination to fight against Covid-19.”

Chief Medical Officer, Ganderbal, Dr Mehrajuddin also said that the reaching to people by way of house-to-house vaccination drive was the main reason for Ganderbal district to achieve 100 percent vaccination among people above 45 years of age.

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