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‘It is voluntary’: J&K opens vaccination window for pregnant women

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Health workers cross over mountains to carry out door-to-door COVID19 vaccination and testing campaign at Doodpathri in central Kashmir's Budgam File photo: KM/Umar Ganie


Srinagar: Days after the Centre’s go-ahead, Jammu and Kashmir government has opened a vaccination window for pregnant women in the union territory.

 “Yes, we are prioritizing it (pregnant women vaccination). We are the first to do so,” Dr. Saleem-ur-Rehman, director general, department of family welfare, and immunization, told The Kashmir Monitor

 

Jammu and Kashmir has become one of the first states and union territories in starting the vaccination drive for pregnant women.

Jammu and Kashmir government has gone into an overdrive to increase the IEC (Information, Education, and Communication) so that confidence is instilled among pregnant women.

“We are open to vaccination. Vaccination is a voluntary thing. We need to build confidence. We have decided to focus on IEC,” he said.

The government has decided to launch a publicity blitzkrieg to instill confidence among pregnant women.

“There is a need to hold workshops. We are using radio and television medium to reach out to people. We are trying to explain to people that it is safe. So many of the studies are underway. The government of India has also said vaccination is safe for pregnant women. ICMR too said it is safe to administer vaccines to pregnant women,” he said.

Union Health Ministry on Friday approved the recommendations of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) for vaccinating pregnant women in the country.

“The decision empowers pregnant women to make an informed choice on taking the Covid vaccination. These women can now register on CoWIN or walk in to the nearest Covid vaccination center to get themselves inoculated. The decision has been communicated to all the States and union territories to implement it under the ongoing National Covid Vaccination Program,” the health ministry said.

Health Ministry said India’s Covid vaccination programme incorporates recommendations of the foremost experts in the field of immunization, public health, disease control, and information technology.

The Ministry has  prepared an operational guideline for vaccination of pregnant women, counseling kit for medical officers and frontline workers, and information education communication material for the general public to equip the states and union territories to carry out the vaccination of pregnant women.