9 days after LG’s deadline, 28% of 45-plus population yet to receive first dose

9 days after LG’s deadline, 28% of 45-plus population yet to receive first dose

Anantnag: It has been 19 days since Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha set a 10-day deadline for completion of Covid vaccination to 45-plus age group but the administration is still way short of achieving the target, with major districts like Srinagar showing no considerable progress.
Only three districts, across the Union Territory, have managed to achieve the target thus far – two in Kashmir and one in Jammu division. Apart from these three districts (Shopian, Ganderbal and Jammu) only Samba district is nearing completion of the target, with over 98 percent people in the 45-plus age group vaccinated.
As for the rest of the 17 districts, 77.9 percent is the farthest they have managed to reach, in Poonch district of Jammu division.
On May 16, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, stressing on intensifying testing in rural areas of the Union Territory, had set a deadline of 10 days for completion of the first dose for 45-plus age group. He had set the timeline in a series of meetings held with officials to assess the Covid situation in the Union Territory.
The deadline was not met on May 26, when 33 percent of the population in this age group was yet to be vaccinated, Kashmir Reader had reported.
“And interestingly, 28.6 percent of the population in this age group is still to receive their first shot,” an official privy to the data on vaccination told Kashmir Reader, adding that only Ganderbal district has been added to the list of the districts which have completed the target since May 26.
The official lamented that the vaccination was still going on ever so slowly in some of the districts, nullifying the gains made in the other districts. “Samba district, for example. On May 25, the district had managed to vaccinate 97.64 of the above 45 population and if you look at the data today, they are still stuck at 98.30 percent. Less than one percent in over 10 days,” the official said.
The other districts that have been doing poorly on this front are Kupwara, Srinagar, Anantnag, Kulgam and Pulwama. In Srinagar, records show, only 46.19 percent of this segment of the population has received the first dose.
“It’s interesting, because on May 25, Srinagar district had vaccinated over 40 percent of the 45-plus population. Now they are at 46 percent,” the official said, adding that the 10-day deadline by the administration was issued in oversight and nothing else.
Kupwara district is also lagging behind and in a major way. At present the vaccine’s first dose has been administered to only 36.27 percent of the above 45 population. On May 25 the district had covered almost 31 percent of the population.
“Besides, Anantnag (61.87 percent), Kulgam (69.77 percent) and Pulwama (61.63 percent) are the south Kashmir districts where vaccination needs to be ramped up. Vaccinating only people in Shopian district in south Kashmir is not going to do the trick for us,” the official said.
“Remember, no one is safe until everyone is safe,” he added.
Kashmir Reader tried talking to the State Immunisation Officer (SIO) Dr Shahid Hussain, but he did not attend calls made by this reporter.

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