May 1, 2021 9:05:29 am
THE JAMMU and Kashmir administration on Friday said the Covid-19 inoculation drive for the 18-45 age group will not take off on May 1, until vaccine supply is established in the UT.
In a press conference late Thursday, Baseer Khan, adviser to J&K LG Manoj Sinha, said J&K had placed an order for 1.24 crore vaccines, among the highest in the country. “Our orders are higher than even Uttar Pradesh,” he said.
In a statement on Friday, the UT administration said: “Vaccination will not be walk-in but only through pre-registration of slots. No slots have been opened for booking a session. Please wait for the announcement of the vaccination start date for the 18-45 age group.” The date for the vaccinations for this group will be announced later, the UT administration said.
Director General Family Welfare, MCH and Immunisation, Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman told The Indian Express that inoculation for this age group will begin in a phased manner after Sunday. The 18-44 age group comprises about 43 per cent of J&K’s population.
While vaccinations for those aged above 45 will continue, several areas across the UT reported shortages of vaccines on Thursday. Dr Rehman said 80 per cent of the UT’s heathcare workers, 79 per cent Front Line Workers and 48 per cent of the UT’s population above 45 years of age had been vaccinated in the last 28 days.
At present, J&K is getting over 1 lakh vaccines every alternate day, according to the administration, “some days it is two lakhs also” depending on availability. The DG said, “J&K was one of the first to approach Serum Institute for vaccines and we are also a priority state for the Government of India, so supply will not be an issue.”
Divisional Commissioner (Kashmir) K Pandurang Pole said the UT currently has about 1,600 oxygen beds in the 20 hospitals of the province and this will be enhanced to 2,500 in the next five days. He said there are about 111 ventilator beds available in the valley and critical manpower is also being hired.
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