Jammu and Kashmir is on track to reach the milestone of 100 per cent first-dose coverage of the coronavirus vaccination this week. Of 20 districts, four have already achieved the target.
In the Ramban district, one of the hilliest and difficult to traverse, vaccinators walked across mountains to reach the target population in remote areas. Officials say they achieved the target of 100 per cent first-dose vaccination on Monday. Poonch, Samba and Anantnag districts were the other three districts.
“Vaccinating people in a hilly district like Ramban which has very remote and far-flung corners was a very difficult and challenging task but the credit goes to the health worriers of the Ramban district,” said Masarat Islam, Deputy Commissioner of Ramban.
From the mountains of Pir Panjal to the backwaters of Srinagar’s Dal lake, officials say around 12,000 vaccinators in Jammu and Kashmir have been set the target 100 per cent first dose vaccination within before October 15. Mobile teams are using Shikaras to reach people living in Dal interiors and backwaters.
Jammu and Kashmir’s strike rate is higher than the national vaccination coverage, say officials. Over 90 per cent of people over 18 have already been vaccinated once.
“We are sure we will be completing between 10th and 15th October of 100 per cent vaccination for 18+. You can imagine we had the flood of 2014 and at that time also we vaccinated 10 lakh people within 7 days for measles. Our terrain is much difficult than any other part of the country… Gurez, Machil, Tangdhar, Bani Basoli… we are managing it because our people are very dedicated. There is complete support from the government,” said Dr Salim u Rehman, Director General, Family Welfare, Jammu and Kashmir.
A recent survey by the Government Medical College, Srinagar showed 84 per cent of the population including children have developed antibodies against the virus. Vaccination has clearly played a major role.