94% of target achieved in Jammu, only 66% in Kashmir
Anantnag: The administration in Jammu and Kashmir is set to miss the 10-day deadline set by the Lt Governor for completion of the first dose of vaccine to the population aged 45 and above.
On May 16, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha stressed on intensifying testing in rural areas and also set a deadline of 10 days for completion of the first dose for the 45 plus age group.
He had set the timeline in a series of meetings held with officials to assess the Covid situation in J&K.
However, as on the evening of May 25 – the ninth day – only two districts had achieved the target set by the LG.
“Jammu district and Shopian district have achieved the hundred percent target,” a senior official in the administration told Kashmir Reader.
The data shows that only two other districts, Ganderbal in Kashmir division and Samba in Jammu division, are nearing completion of the target, having achieved 99.55 percent and 97.64 percent, in that order.
“The Jammu division is still better placed in terms of the overall vaccination rate in people aged 45 and above. The division has completed a cumulative 93.75 percent vaccination in this segment,” the official said, adding that Kashmir division was far behind at only 66.39 percent.
The worst performing districts in Kashmir division are Kupwara (31.56 percent), Srinagar (40.82 percent), Anantnag (55.13 percent), Pulwama (55.50 percent) and Kulgam (63.43 percent).
The lacklustre performance in Kashmir division has pulled the average vaccination rate down in J&K, despite the Jammu region doing fairly well.
“Despite the fact that Jammu has completed over 93 percent of the vaccinations, the overall rate in the UT is 67.14 percent. And it is because the Kashmir division has been dismal,” the official told Kashmir Reader.
Sources in the health department said that unavailability of vaccines has hindered progress in Kashmir division. “The LG set a deadline on May 16 and for the next two days (May 17 and 18) zero vaccinations were administered in Kashmir division because there were none available,” highly placed sources said, adding that it was highly unlikely that the target will be completed in another day.
It is impossible, the sources said, to vaccinate about 33 percent of the 45-plus population in a single day. “Vaccination rate has in fact slowed down in Kashmir particularly after the LG made that announcement. The deadline has been missed by a long margin,” the sources said.
Kashmir Reader talked to the State Immunisation Officer, Dr Shahid Hussain, who said that nearly four districts have achieved the target. “We have a dedicated staff and they speed up the vaccination when vaccines are available. In recent days we have administered even 28k vaccines in a single day. In April, 81k vaccines were administered in a single day (51k in Kashmir only),” Hussain said.
He added that the target will be achieved soon, as long as there is availability of the vaccine.