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COVID vaccination: Over 11 lakh inoculated in J&K, religious leaders roped in to create awareness


Srinagar:  Stung by poor response to vaccination drive, Jammu and Kashmir government has roped in religious leaders to spread awareness and motivate people to receive jab in order to defeat COVID 19.

Official data reveal that 1179127 people have received vaccine jab till April 8.  Of whom 607441 are from Jammu, while 571686 are from Kashmir. Of the total people vaccinated, 134125 are healthcare workers, 367248 are frontline workers and 67753 are citizens above 45 years.

Since the second COVID wave swept Jammu and Kashmir, there has been an uptake in the vaccination rate in both regions. Around 81660 people were vaccinated on Thursday alone in Jammu and Kashmir. Of whom 43748 are from Kashmir and 37912 from the Jammu division. People above the age of 45 years constituted the biggest bloc of recipients on Thursday. Nearly 77173 citizens above 45 years received the jab on Thursday.

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. 

“We have received a good response to vaccination drive. People are now thronging vaccination centers to get inoculated. Particularly in Kashmir, we are seeing an increased rush of people,” Dr. Shahid Hussain, Extended Programme Immunization Officer (EPIO), told The Kashmir Monitor.

Dr. Shahid attributed the new development to an awareness campaign launched by the religious leaders to motivate people to get vaccinated for COVID 19. 

“Health department involved opinion leaders including religious teachers to clear misconceptions. They were asked to talk about vaccination during Friday prayers. It helped a lot. Earlier hesitancy was overcome and people started coming forward to receive the jab,” he said.

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.

“There was one death in Kupwara. But after investigation, it was not found related to vaccination. We have not seen any major crisis,” he said. 

Dr. Shahid people are adhering to SOPs after the second wave swept J&K. “We are seeing people are wearing masks and not lowering their guard, particularly after the second wave. If people adhere to SOPs and wear masks, we can control the situation,” he said.