SRINAGAR: Almost ten days ago, Kashmiris were double minded about getting their first vaccine shot. For nearly three months since the COVID-19 vaccination was started, not even quarter of the population was vaccinated. But the story has changed altogether with a sudden surge in Covid cases in the Valley as people line up in queues to get the jab.
“More and more people want to get vaccinated nowadays,” said a doctor at SKIMS Soura, one of the hospitals where the vaccine is being administered. “They have to wait for their turn. Earlier, we would request people to come forward for the jab but would get little response.”
He said that behaviour towards the vaccine changed after the surge in COVID-19 cases nearly two weeks ago.
According to the government figures, more than seven lakh people have been inoculated in Jammu and Kashmir in just two weeks. Until April 14, above 14 lakh (1462383) beneficiaries were vaccinated and the number shot up to above 21 lakh (2174372) till Monday this week.
More than 2200 people died of the virus with over one lakh tested. In Jammu and Kashmir, a total of 1,66,054 people were infected with COVID-19 with Srinagar being one of the worst affected districts.
Amid this surge, the old scare among people seems to have gone down. People prefer to take the vaccine which has just 78 percent efficacy. Those who were waiting for better alternatives such Russian made Sputnik too have changed their mind
One of them is Mudasir, a resident of Rainawari. He was waiting for the Russian Sputnik to arrive. “As I saw more people taking the jab, I changed my mind and took the vaccine as well,” he added.
The number of beneficiaries for Covid-19 vaccination has also increased multiple times during the last one month at SMHS hospital. A doctor said that more than 600 people get vaccinated on a daily basis.