Srinagar: The second phase of COVID-19 vaccination drive which began on Thursday started with an overwhelming response, as nearly 8,000 recipients received the shots, the highest number in a day since the process began.
State Immunisation Officer Dr Qazi Haroon told Kashmir Reader that 7,900 recipients were given the shots in total across Jammu and Kashmir. They include 5,200 health care workers and rest frontline police and revenue officials.
IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar volunteered to be the first to receive the vaccine shot and inaugurate the vaccination drive at PCR Srinagar.
“The vaccination drive will be a key factor in strengthening our defence against this disease and will facilitate resumption of our daily life schedules. I thank the health department officials for their assistance in administering the vaccine doses to police officials, “the IGP police said.
Dr Haroon said that the shots were given at more than 200 centres. Police at their respective police hospitals, health care workers at civil hospital, and revenue officials were vaccinated at many places, he added.
He said that as the numbers are going up, the administration will be adding up 50 centres every day to meet the target. With both healthcare and frontline workers, the total target set for vaccination is about 3 lakh in the first two phases, he added.
“We will also be adding district police lines now, “ said Dr Haroon, and added that the third phase which includes the general population will be taken up next. The dates will be communicated, he said.
Two COVID-19 vaccines– indigenous Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and the Oxford-AstraZeneca & Serum Institute of India vaccine Covishield for emergency use are being administered in J&K.
With the addition of new numbers, the total population covered has reached close to 37,000 recipients. The good news is that none of the recipients have complained of anything so far.
There has been a general fear among the population that the vaccine shot may cause adverse results. This initially led to a slow gradual start, but now people are aware that it is safe, Dr Haroon said.
The Srinagar district administration started the second phase with 415 inoculations given to frontline workers, among others.
The phase in which officials of Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Revenue and Police – the frontline departments associated with COVID-19 mitigation efforts – will be vaccinated was kicked off at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Hospital (JLNM) Rainawari.
Inaugurated by the Additional Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Syed Haneef Balkhi, the phase began with vaccination of 130 frontline officials of the administration.
Senior officers of the district administration also received their vaccine shots on the opening day of the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination programme beginning here today.
The officers who received a jab included Assistant Commissioner Revenue Rouf Rehman, Assistant Commissioner Nazool Sandeep Singh Bali, Registrar Masarat Hashim, Sub Divisional Magistrate (East) Owais Mushtaq, Sub Registrar (East) Javeed Masoodi and Tehsildar Khanyar Aliya Tabasum.
Chief Medical Officer Srinagar Dr Jehangir Bakshi said the COVID-19 vaccination was carried out at 25 different sites in the district.
He said alongside frontline workers associated with coronavirus mitigation efforts in the district, 285 healthcare workers were also administered the COVID-19 vaccination today.