Govt has no data on PwD in 15-18 age group for COVID jabs, Deptts clueless

Irfan Tramboo

Srinagar, Jan 24: Even as the COVID-19 vaccination drive for the 15-18 age group is currently on across J&K, the Government does not have any data on the number of beneficiaries with physical disabilities in the age group for the vaccination against COVID-19.
On this, there is no specific data available with the Social Welfare Department, Health department as well as the Family Welfare MCH & Immunization even as there is no clarity on how many such beneficiaries have so far received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose across J&K.
Officials told Excelsior that they have the data on the number of persons in districts with disabilities in the aggregated form, while as age-specific data is overall missing from the scene even as the concerned departments are currently staring at dark when it comes to the vaccination of beneficiaries with disabilities in the age group 15-18.
Excelsior tried to get the details on the number of people in the said age group vaccinated so far including that of the target to be achieved; however, all the concerned departments denied having any such information with the age group specified.
Abdul Rashid, who is heading J&K Handicapped Association also said that he was not aware whether there are age-specific numbers available with the concerned departments. He, however, estimated that there might be at least 80 thousand individuals falling in the 15-18 age group with varied disabilities.
He also expressed ignorance over the number of beneficiaries in the said age group to have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine so far.
On the other hand, the officials of the Social Welfare Department said that they are working in sync with the Health Department and other concerned agencies to get the people with disabilities vaccinated across Kashmir; but they could not provide the details on the number of such people vaccinated so far.
“The District Social Welfare Officers are working with the district administrations across Kashmir as well as the Health Department and are helping them in identifying people with disabilities who are due for vaccination-that includes the people falling in 15-18 age groups,” the officials said.
They also said that Social Welfare Department across J&K has facilitated the COVID-19 vaccination for the adults earlier which includes the identification and the ferrying of the concerned people to the nearest vaccination centres.
Earlier, it is to be noted here that the Government said so far over 2 crore COVID vaccine jabs have been administered in J&K even as over 50% of beneficiaries in the age group 15-18 have received first COVID vaccine jab across the UT while as the overall target is over 8 lakh in the same age group across the Union Territory.