The vaccination drive in Jammu and Kashmir has once again started to pick up. Though the administration aims to vaccinate the 18-45 age group by the end of June but the claim means lot of hectic efforts and massive outreach to make the drive a success.
The administration has of late felt the need for a massive rollout of special vaccination drives for high risk and vulnerable groups within the 18-45 age category and now a plan is being followed to ensure centpercent compliance.
The administration has already started special vaccination drives in districts that witnessed highest disease caseload and positivity ratio and the drive is being extended to all the districts.
Even the target groups have been identified considering their risk assessment and vulnerability to the disease. It was directed that as a part of the special vaccination drive, additional dedicated vaccination centres are established for centralized and fast-tracked coverage of all identified beneficiaries after proper verification.
Given the situation that is arising and the opinion of the experts that covid is here to stay, a viable strategy needs to be framed regarding the vaccination so that people can be inoculated so that they can go out to work and still manage to escape or fight the virus.
What we have witnessed that several pockets in north Kashmir and even in Srinagar district are witnessing vaccine hesitancy among the people. This hesitancy will lead to exclusion of a large chunk of population to the virus threat as a third wave of the deadly pandemic is being predicted.
Therefore, a massive vaccination drive needs to be started to challenge the situation arising out of the hesitancy factor as the administration cannot afford to leave out any number of people without getting the vaccine cover.
Considering the fast deterioration in the COVID scenario during the second wave a comprehensive approach by the Governments needs to be adopted to meet the challenge. The governments need to ensure a multi-sectoral response in addition to swift vaccination drives to cover maximum population of the target age groups to prevent subsequent waves of infection especially in the wake of emergence of mutant strains of the virus.
We have already witnessed the fragility of our healthcare system. If the situation tends to grow like this then the healthcare facilities will once again witness the same burden that it had to undergo during 2020 and during the past two months.
We in Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed more than enough deaths by covid-19 and lakhs have been infected. However, given our limited resources we have so far managed to avoid serious damage to the health and overall well being of the people here.
Though some complacency did figure during the past several months at some places but we cannot ignore the virus threat especially when a situation needs to be worked out where lockdowns can be avoided to ensure that the economy too does not collapse.