Srinagar: Enthusiastic students who got their first vaccine dose in Srinagar on Monday hoped that they would resume their ‘normal schooling’ soon. On the first day of vaccination for the under 18 age group, 50,500 individuals were vaccinated across J&K.
A group of students at Raj Bagh Srinagar who had received their first vaccine shot today said they wanted to get back to school eagerly. “For two years, we have not seen the normal school. We want to be with our friends and in a real classroom,” he said.
The teenagers, all students of Class 11 said for a part of the year they were permitted to enter the school but with riders. “School has not been the same and we want this to change now,” they said.
A senior health official said that at schools across Kashmir, the Government had set up allied attractions to lure students to the vaccination sites. These included health checkups and Golden Card registration. “However, the students were more eager than we had anticipated,” he said.
Director General Health Family Welfare and Immunization, Dr Saleem ur Rehman said 50,500 vaccine doses were given in the 15 to 28 year age group today.
He said that 22905 doses were administered in the Kashmir division and 27,595 doses were administered in the Jammu division. Dr Rehman said complete vaccination in the 15-18 year age group was expected to be completed soon.
“Hopefully, all students enrolled in higher secondary schools would be completely vaccinated when the new academic session starts in Kashmir,” he said.
The vaccination sites for the under 18 age group include many schools of J&K, apart from the health centres. In Srinagar district, 32 exclusive vaccination sites were set up, Dr Rehman said which included Higher Secondary Schools.
Today was the first day of the 15-18 year age group vaccination drive in India. Covaxin of Bharat Biotech is the only approved vaccine in this age group. J&K Government has said over 3 lakh vaccine doses have been stocked in J&K.
With 18 plus age group vaccination doses combined, 96,789 shots were administered in J&K today, the Director General said. He urged the teenagers eligible for getting the vaccine to avail the benefit of the drive. “Vaccination is completely safe and helps save lives,” he said.