ammu and Kashmir has a total population of 1.4 crore and has given 33,45,639 doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far
Ground Report | New Delhi: While the Covid-19 infection is spreading rapidly in Jammu and Kashmir, on the other hand, the administration is also working on a war footing to deal with the epidemic. The UT government claims that 70 per ‘cent of the people above the age limit of 45 years have been given vaccination, compared to the national average of 44.1 percent.
A task force has been constituted in the Health Department to carry out the work of vaccination in Jammu and Kashmir. In which the officers of the Revenue Department as well as the Police and the Health Department are working together and are taking this vaccination campaign from village to village.
Initially, people were not coming to the village areas for vaccination, but as the government increased awareness for the vaccination, people are coming out in the open. At the same time, the people of the village also claim that vaccination is the only way to avoid corona. These people say that in the initial days they were afraid of Corona and they were not coming out of the houses.
Now that it has been proved that vaccination is the only way to prevent corona, the people of the village are also playing their part in this vaccination. At the same time, the Jammu and Kashmir government claims that this vaccination campaign will be intensified further in the coming days.
In the far-flung areas of Tehsil Gund in district Ganderbal, the people are feeling relaxed as the initiative taken by the Government has provided them added support to access medical facilities with continuous monitoring within the villages and also the help in providing space for isolation to Covid infected patients who do not have enough space in their homes.
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Ramwari villagers in Tehsil Gund are extremely happy with the step taken by the Government for the establishment of a 5-bedded Isolation Facility in the village as the Covid patients in the village had to travel long distances to reach the District hospital and it was very difficult for them to find vehicles to reach the hospital due to lockdown, but since Covid care centre (CCC) has been established, they don’t have to go far from the village and are getting all facilities at the centre. Presently two covid infected patients are in isolation at Ramwari panchayat level covid care centre.
How many people vaccinated so far?
Jammu and Kashmir has a total population of 1.4 crore and has given 33,45,639 doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far. On May 1, the number stood at 23,71,985 – which means over ten lakh doses have been given in 26 days.
What are hurdles, which places are highly vaccinated, which area not?
Shopian district has been a success story this year in terms of vaccination and control of the spread of COVID-19. Some villages in this district were badly affected by the first wave of the pandemic in 2020.
A village named Hirpora in Shopian was termed as the hotspot of entire south Kashmir as over 80 people tested positive in it. However, this year Hirpora has been one of the first villages to get 100% vaccine shots for people above 45 years.
The district Ganderbal has become the second district in Kashmir division to achieve the cent percent vaccination target of all above 45 age group with at least the first dose of Covid-19 inoculation.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ganderbal, Krittika Jyotsnasaid that achieving the target of vaccinating all above 45 age group is a big achievement for which she complemented the health care workers, PRIs besides other front line workers who have visited door to door to counsel people about the need of vaccination.
While elaborating on arrangements put in place for achieving vaccination targets, she said that over 68440 persons over 45 years of age are given their first dose in the district. She said that 94 vaccination sites were established to achieve the target adding that all these sites are still active.
Overall, the Jammu division has vaccinated 98.29 percent of the 45-plus, while the Kashmir division has done 69.42 percent of the vaccinations.
According to government officials, vaccination for the age group of 18-44, which was opened nationwide on May 1, is currently underway only in eight districts.
Jammu district was the first district to achieve the target of 100% vaccination of its population above 45. Officials say that several factors worked in this district. “One of the biggest factors was less hesitation towards vaccines.
People were desperate to take jobs. Management of logistics and availability of vaccines were the major factors that helped us achieve the target,” said a senior health official.
In Jammu division, district Samba has also almost achieved its target of immunizing beneficiaries in the age group of 45 years with at least the first dose of vaccines. This achievement is significant as the district is geographically vast and stretches along the international border, making access and execution a challenging task.
How they are reaching out people?
Health workers from different parts of Kashmir valley visited farm sites in the district to vaccinate the farmers working in the fields, especially in the paddy fields. In Jammu & Kashmir’s Anantnag district administration starts COVID vaccination drive for nomadic communities. Vaccination sites have been increased in all 20 districts. Door-to-door immunization has already started to cover old, infirm and physically challenged citizens.
Over 33.41 lakh people in Jammu and Kashmir have been given first dose of the covid vaccine. These include frontline workers, health care workers, senior citizens above 60 years and citizens above 45 years of age. At present, Jammu and Kashmir is second only to Kerala in the nationwide vaccination list.
At the same time, 2.57 lakh people in the age group of 18-44 have already taken the first dose, while 48 lakh people are yet to be vaccinated.
How they are convincing people?
In the Kashmir region, religious leaders were brought in to help raise awareness, especially during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Officials said that while initially the hesitation of the vaccine was a matter of concern among the people, it has now been overcome.
“We found mosque committees, called auqafs, which make announcements during the daily prayers as well as during the Friday prayers. It helped a lot in creating awareness and removing hesitation for religious reasons,” said Sachin Kumar Vaishya, District Magistrate, Shopian.