Srinagar: The pace of vaccination in J&K has picked up in the last two months with 20 lakh vaccines administered in the past 20 days only.
As per official statistics, 93.8 lakh people are eligible to get vaccinated falling in the age group of 18 years and above. Of these, 66.2 lakh people, according to media bulletin on COVID19 dated 19 August, have received their first dose of COVID19.
The achievement of the first dose, as per the bulletin is of the order of 66 percent. However, when the population is separated into groups of 18-44 years and 45 plus years, there is a wide disparity. Roughly, two in every three people in the 18-44 year age group are still unvaccinated and vulnerable to the Third Wave.
In the 45 plus age group nearly 100 percent of the population in J&K has received first dose of COVID19 vaccine. However, in the 18-44 years group, only 36 percent have been vaccinated.
Estimated 31.6 lakh people in J&K are above 45 years of age and the 18-44 age group has nearly 61 lakh souls as per population projections of J&K Government.
The volume of research data on vaccination being successful in protecting people from severe illness due to SARS-CoV2 known and circulating variants is increasing.
Earlier this week, a paper based on Indian Council of Medical Research stated that although “breakthrough infections could occur due to Delta variant even after vaccination”, still the severity of illness decreased significantly with vaccination.
Experts from Kashmir and across the world have been urging youth to get vaccinated to protect themselves from the impact of emerging waves of the pandemic, currently afflicting many parts of the world.
Director General Health, Family Welfare and Immunization, Dr Saleem ur Rehman expressed satisfaction over the pace of vaccination.
He said J&K was among the top states in terms of the vaccine coverage and every day on average one lakh vaccines were being administered in the UT. “In the month of August alone, we have administered 20 lakh doses,” he said.
He said in July, 16 lakh vaccine doses were administered and there was ample supply and stock of CoviShield vaccine in J&K. “It is due to the efforts and personal interventions of the LG and Additional Secretary Health and Medical Education that we have a supply that puts us in a position to achieve a lakh vaccinations a day,” he said.
He said in the 18-44 year age group, nearly 50,000 vaccines are being given every day.