60 lakh Covid jabs administered in J&K

Sustained drive helps overcome vaccine hesitancy
60 lakh Covid jabs administered in J&K
A health worker walks along the paddy fields as the open air vaccination drive continues in Kashmir, on Saturday 5, June 2021.Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir has seemingly overcome the hesitancy among the masses towards Covid-19 vaccination as over 60 lakh jabs have been administered in a span of a few months.

J&K’s Health department which oversees the vaccination drive has revealed that over 50 lakh Covid jabs had been administered in the age group of 45-years above while over 10 lakh jabs had been administered in the age of 18-44 years.

As per the details shared by the Health department, over 50.46 lakh vaccination doses had been administered among the over-45 years’ age group including healthcare and frontline workers.

The vaccination drive among this age group started on January 16.

While over 10 lakh vaccination doses have been administered among people in the age group of 18-44 years, the number of Covid jabs among this age group is lower as the Government of India started the vaccination drive in J&K for below 45 years’ age group from June 1.

In J&K, nine districts - Budgam, Bandipora, Shopian, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Jammu, Rajoui, Samba and Poonch have achieved the target of 100 percent vaccination in the age group of over-45 years.

While several other districts are near to achieve 100 percent vaccination in the age group of 45 years, only Srinagar district lags behind though it has achieved 74 percent vaccination.

A senior Health department official said that there was still hesitancy among the people about the vaccination in Srinagar.

“Though Srinagar district is mostly an urban area where people are educated, the hesitancy level among them is higher in comparison to other districts. We have to take vaccination centres to people rather than coming out to get vaccinated,” he said.

The overall percentage of vaccination among the age group of above 45 years in J&K is 91.7 percent.

When the vaccination drive started in the Kashmir division, rumours and hesitancy among the people were main obstacles in it.

However, as per the officials, the healthcare workers instead of waiting for people to come to vaccination centres started a door-to-door vaccination drive which helped achieve the desired results carrying over 25 lakh anti-Covid jabs.

From roping in influencers, prominent doctors, religious leaders, authorities in Kashmir division used almost every possible way to remove vaccine hesitancy.

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.

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