Srinagar: Call it a second-wave effect, COVID vaccination has picked up pace in Jammu and Kashmir with inoculation rate of citizens above 45 years crossing the national average.
More than 26.60 percent of people above 45 years of age have received the first dose of vaccine in Jammu and Kashmir. Of the total 924376 citizens above 45 years registered, 913512 have been given the first dose. Nearly 33049 citizens have received the second dose.
“National vaccination average for people above 45 years is 23.1 percent as far as the first dose is concerned. Our average is 26.60 percent which is three percent more than the national threshold,” Dr. Shahid Hussain, Extended Programme Immunization Officer (EPIO), told The Kashmir Monitor.
However, there is a considerable drop in the vaccination rate of healthcare workers. Of the total 122235 healthcare workers registered for vaccination, only 89542 have received the first dose. Around 73.25 percent of healthcare workers have received the first jab compared to the national average of 86 percent. Similarly, only 53.12 percent of healthcare workers have received the second jab in Jammu and Kashmir.
Likewise, against the registered 290754 frontline workers, only 244219 have received the first dose. Eighty-four percent of frontline workers have been given the first dose. 134498 frontline workers have received the second jab.
Jammu and Kashmir has also clarified that they have enough vaccine doses available which can last for four to five days. “ We have no shortage. We will receive another consignment in two to three days. We are getting regular supplies,” said Dr. Shahid
Since the second COVID wave swept Jammu and Kashmir, there has been an uptake in the vaccination rate in both regions. Given the fasting month of Ramzan, there is a likelihood of a drop in the vaccinations.
However, religious scholars have ruled that the vaccination does not invalidate fast. “The COVID-19 vaccine is not considered food or drink. It would not give a person the energy to fight hunger. It just strengthens the immune system,” Grand Mufti Nasir-Ul-Islam told The Kashmir Monitor.
Jammu and Kashmir government too has roped in religious leaders to spread awareness and motivate people to receive jab in order to defeat COVID 19.
Immunization centers have been set up across 20 districts in Jammu and Kashmir. Each person will be administered two doses of vaccines within a month. Every person is closely being monitored after being administered the first dose of the vaccine.
Interestingly, Jammu and Kashmir is among few places in the country which has not seen much of Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI). Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) is any untoward medical occurrence that follows immunization and may not necessarily have a causal relationship with the vaccine.