Healthcare workers showing lukewarm response: Official
In order to achieve the target of completing phase-I of COVID19 vaccinations by 16th February, J&K health department has been directed to ramp up the exercise and vaccinate over 30,000 healthcare and frontline workers a day, a target over 6 times higher than the current pace.
The COVID19 vaccination drive started in J&K on 16 January, the past 24 days covering 61031 beneficiaries as per union ministry of health and family welfare. Of these, a health official said, 36000 are healthcare workers and the remaining frontline workers in other categories, vaccination of whom was started on 4 February. The health official said that till date 36 percent of the targeted 100,000 healthcare workers have been covered in 24 days, the pace reflective of the “lackluster” and the “laggard” response in this category. “The healthcare workers, despite being the most vulnerable group, have been a difficult section. The lukewarm response to vaccination can cost them their life or life of a loved one,” the official said.
In the coming six days, a communication issued by the health and medical education department to all its district level health officials has set the target of achieving vaccination of 64,000 healthcare workers, more than 8000 per day. Similarly, 155047 frontline workers are to be vaccinated upto 20th February, 24724 per day.
Together, the department has been given the target of vaccinating more than 30,000 people (healthcare workers, security personnel, police, revenue officials and others) before 16 February. The COVID19 vaccination days exclude Sundays and routine immunization days. “All CMOs / DyCMOs / DIOs are directed to undertake measures including relocation of vaccinators, session sites in order to accomplish the results,” reads the communication.
State Immunization Officer, Qazi Haroon, said the target was huge but “achievable”. He said Covishield vaccine, which was being administered in J&K, has achieved significant acceptance among the target group. “The initial hiccups and doubts have been overcome. We are now at a good position and should be able to cover more people faster,” he said.
Dr Haroon said the Phase-I of vaccination was set to get over by 20 February and any healthcare worker who misses the vaccine during this period will then be taken along with masses, if and when that is made available. “We would be moving on to the next group of beneficiaries soon and wrapping up health workers and frontline workers’ vaccination,” he said.