COVID-19 vaccination drive slows down in J&K due to shortage of jabs

Only 2 centres functional in Srinagar

Govind Sharma
JAMMU, May 15: While the COVID cases and resultants deaths are on rise in Jammu and Kashmir, the COVID-19 vaccination drive initiated by the Government has slowed down with only two vaccination centres functional in summer capital of the UT.
Official sources told Excelsior that over the last one week, COVID-19 vaccination drive has slowed down in the Union Territory with very less doses being administered on daily basis. They said after May 7, the number of doses administered on daily basis in the UT has come down drastically, apparently due to shortage of vaccines. Like other States, sources said, J&K is also facing shortage of vaccines and that is why the vaccination programme in the UT which was earlier running smoothly, is now going on snail’s pace.
They said while on May 7, a total of 56714 people got vaccinated, 40223 were administered vaccine on May 8 and only 10269 on May 10. Sources said again on May 10 and May 11, 28595 and 26221 people got vaccinated respectively but thereafter, again vaccination process slowed down and on May 12, only 10524 people were administered vaccine while mere 4942 got vaccinated on May 13,15395 people on May 14 and 15201 were administered vaccine today i.e. on May 15.
Sources said majority of the vaccination centres in Srinagar district are lying closed for last several days and presently only two centres are functional, one established at SMHS Well Baby Clinic for 18-44 age group people and another for 45+ at BH Srinagar. They further informed that while 227 people were administered vaccine today at SMHS Well Baby Clinic, only one person got vaccination at BH Srinagar, which is only for Defense persons only.
“However, sources said, the condition is much better in Jammu district where 6,197 people received vaccine today in different vaccination centres. They said a total of 5,64,902 people have been administered COVID vaccine in Jammu district till date including 4,35,310 people who have received their 1st dose and 1,29,592 who have received both doses. Sources rued that in Srinagar district, only 1,98,783 people have received COVID jabs till date, which is much low than Jammu.
Sources said with rising COVID cases in J&K, particularly in Jammu province, every person wants to get the COVID jab but instead of opening more vaccination centres, Government is decreasing the same. They said on May 1, when vaccination drive for 18-44 age group was started, Government had opened around seven centres exclusively for vaccinating young population in Jammu district and more than 10 in Srinagar district but as on date, only one centre for 18-44 age group is functional in Jammu as well as in Srinagar district while the vaccination drive for young population is yet to be started in other 18 districts of the UT.
With young population of Jammu and Srinagar districts have been complaining of not getting slots for vaccination, sources said Government should fix a time so that those wanting to get the jab can book slot. “Nobody knows when the window for booking slot opens. Whenever we log in the designated App for booking slot, either it shows ‘not available’ or booked,” sources said, adding, no body can sit for the whole day to book slot while leaving all other works.
They said people of the age group 18-44 are very enthusiastic. They wanted to get themselves vaccinated for COVID-19 as early as possible but Government has failed to provide the youth easy access to vaccination while knowing that young population is more susceptible to COVID infection during the second wave of pandemic.
To know the reasons of drastic fall in vaccination drive in the UT and closure of several vaccination centres in past one week, this correspondent tried to contact Director Family Welfare, MCH & Immunization, Dr Saleem ur Rehman on phone but he could not be reached despite repeated attempts.