Covid19 vaccination: J&K on second spot in India

‘Everyone has taken at least one dose’
Covid19 vaccination: J&K on second spot in India
Health workers cross a makeshift bridge in Doodhpathri area of central Kashmir's Budgam to administer COVID-19 jabs to people.File: Mubashir Khan/ GK

Srinagar: J&K stands at number 2 among states and Union Territories in India in COVID19 vaccination coverage, the Immunization department here said today while commemorating the completion of ‘100 percent population getting its first dose’.

Hospitals and health center buildings in J&K wore a festive look today, illuminated and decorated to mark the completion of 100 percent vaccination coverage in the 18 plus age group.

Dr Saleem ur Rehman, Director General Health, Family Welfare and Immunization J&K said that J&K was fast covering the entire eligible population with a second dose as well. “We have everyone aged 18 and above vaccinated with at least one dose, across all districts and this in itself is a reflection of how we have been able to maneuver over hesitancy, hindrances and constraints,” he said. He said, currently, over 45 percent of the eligible population is J&K had taken its second dose.

The department tweeted about J&K standing at the second spot with its vast vaccine coverage. The tweet also showed the achievement being portrayed in an English daily. Himachal Pradesh is the top state with 100 percent first dose coverage and nearly 53 percent second dose coverage. Kerala trails right behind J&K.

Dr Rehman said the second dose coverage was increasing and was over 40 percent across all districts. “Even in Srinagar, which initially was a laggard district and which took a long time to warm up to vaccinations, we have 41 percent second dose coverage,” he said.

Nearly 93 lakh people in J&K are eligible for vaccines. The first dose coverage moved from zero to 60 percent in nearly five months, while the remaining 40 percent were covered in less than two months. Ganderbal, Ramban and Jammu have over 50 percent vaccination coverage for the second dose.

In the recent past, the J&K Government has boosted the availability of vaccine doses across immunization sites, a senior official in the department said. He said he daily administered doses were over a lakh on most days in J&K. “On some days, we have reached about 1.7 lakh doses in a day,” he said.

Dr Rehman urged the Srinagar population to uptake the second dose on priority. “In Srinagar we administered 4000 doses yesterday, which is less than what we target for every day,” he said. He said given the demography, socio-economic parameters, susceptibility and past history of Srinagar, vaccinations could be the savior in making its people safe from the future peaks in the pandemic,” he said.

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