Kashmir Set to Roll out Covid Vaccination Drive, 30k Health & Revenue Officials to Get Jabs First

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More than 30,000 employees of health and revenue departments would be covered in the first phase of COVID-19 vaccine rollout programme in Kashmir Valley.

The beneficiaries would be administered two doses of vaccines within a month, Qazi Haroon, a senior official with the Union territory’s health department told News18. He said the dry run conducted twice in the last few weeks have helped the department to work out on all gaps and be ready for the massive exercise.

While officials are wary of heavy snowfall that have made some remote areas inaccessible, they are confident of a fool-proof rollout.

“Apart from some connectivity issues, we have tested our preparedness and identified where we need to put efforts. We are ready and there are no glitches,” he said.

Even as officials received the first tranche of vaccines on Wednesday, they said they will start the inoculation from Saturday. Health workers, including doctors, paramedics and allied staff, would get it first, followed by revenue officials. The second phase will focus on elderly and co-morbid patients, officials said. Next the children and, finally, the adult population would get the jab.

Officials said about 2.5 lakh doses of Covishield, manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Astra-Zeneca, will arrive in Jammu and Kashmir.

Health officials said adequate logistical arrangements, including cold storage facilities, have been set up across the valley. More than 1,000 sites across 20 districts have been identified for the storage of vaccines.

Vaccines would be ferried in controlled vans to all district headquarters and nodal officers have been designed. “Their contacts, places of posting and medical staff have been maintained,” one of them said.

All those to be inoculated in the first phase will be closely monitored for any reaction or side effects if any, officials said.

“Every beneficiary’s data will be maintained and uploaded on the website to keep track of the things.”

The guidelines for the other three stages will be updated on a real-time basis. Officials said regular updates of the next three phases will be done. “We will issue regular guidelines to those identified to take the jab,” said an official.