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Instill confidence

After the first phase of COVID-19 inoculation in which front-line health-workers were covered, Jammu and Kashmir administration is all set to begin the second phase from March 6. High-risk groups above 50 years of age will be covered in this phase. More than 60,000 health and front-line workers have been vaccinated without any sort of health-related complications in Jammu and Kashmir so far.  Doctors, nurses, medicos, security forces, police, municipality employees, and government officials were covered in the first phase. Now, when the Covid-19 positive cases have recorded a sharp drop, the health department is gearing up for the second phase of the vaccination drive from March 6. As already reported by this newspaper, the registration for the second phase will begin very soon and will specially cater to high-risk groups including those who are medically co-morbid. Director General (Planning), Health and Medical Education has written to the Director SKIMS Soura, GMC Srinagar/Jammu, Director Health Services Jammu/Kashmir and Director Family Welfare to complete the vaccination of all health care workers by February 20. The Centre has disbursed more than Rs 1 crore to complete the initial phase of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Jammu and Kashmir. As many as 40 centers have been designated for vaccination in the UT. Nearly 100 persons are being vaccinated on a daily basis. In Kashmir, vaccination is being carried at 20 hospitals and sub-district hospitals. In J&K, a total of 125052 persons have tested positive for Covid-19 so far. Of whom 1945 have died so far. Jammu and Kashmir has lately started to have some control over the pandemic which rattled the entire globe throughout last year. Across India, the number of cases and deaths have drastically reduced, and  one hopes that the vaccination process turns out to be successful and keeps the virus at bay during this year. One also expects the government to make citizens aware of the vaccination and instill confidence in them before going ahead with the second phase of the drive. Howsoever has been talked about the vaccine in media and among the experts, people still have some doubts and are wary of taking the shot. Though the authorities have tried to make them aware, one feels that there is still a lot of need for awareness and winning the confidence of the common people, especially the elderly before inoculating them. The government has and can even more impactfully use internet and other forms of mass communication to send across a positive message among the people so that they are mentally ready to get themselves vaccinated. It is a huge development in the fight against coronavirus that we have a vaccine even as many countries in this world are still waiting for one.