J&K paying price of vaccine shortage? 93 per cent COVID-19 deaths occurred among those who didn't get the jabs

State Immunisation Officer Dr Shahid Hussain acknowledged that there was a shortage of vaccines in the valley, but said the Union Territory was hopeful of getting vaccines sooner.

Published: 16th May 2021 11:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2021 11:00 PM   |  A+A-

A view of a deserted road during lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, as Kashmiris mark Eid al Fitr, in Srinagar. (Photo | AP)


JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam on Sunday said 93 percent of the reported COVID-19 fatalities in the past one month occurred in unvaccinated people in the union territory.

He said 49.37 percent fatality was recorded in COVID-19 patients who ignored initial symptoms, delayed taking the test, or reached hospitals in critical conditions at later stages.

As per the analysis of COVID mortality carried out by J-K National Health Mission (NHM) between April 15 and May 12, which accounted for a total of 495 deaths in Jammu division and 311 deaths in Kashmir province, 93 percent of the deceased were unvaccinated, while rest of the seven percent were partially vaccinated.

Reviewing the public health response to COVID-19 amid the surging cases at a meeting here, the chief secretary directed ramping up of COVID care facilities and speedy vaccination of target groups.

He also directed district administrations to utilise full testing quotas for early detection, isolation, and medical treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Emphasising the instrumental role of vaccination in checking COVID-induced fatality, Subrahmanyam directed the departments concerned to ramp up vaccination centres to the maximum capacities for achieving universal vaccination in 45 years and above age group.

Regarding 18 to 45 years age group, it was informed that supplies are being reinforced and arrangements be immediately put in place for targeted vaccination of vulnerable population, an official spokesman said.

No COVID vaccine dose was administered in 10 districts of the Kashmir region on Sunday due to a shortage, officials said.

State Immunisation Officer Dr Shahid Hussain acknowledged that there was a shortage of vaccines in the valley, but said the Union Territory was hopeful of getting vaccines sooner.

"Yes, there is some shortage at some places. We were expecting to get another lot of vaccines today, but unfortunately, it did not happen. We are hopeful to get them sooner," Hussain told PTI.

He said there were a lot of reasons for the shortage including the pace of production and priority distribution to certain states.

Not a single jab was administered across any of the ten districts in Kashmir valley on Sunday, the officials said.

In the ten districts of the Jammu region, 9,144 jabs were administered on Sunday.

In the Kashmir valley, so far, 13,35,954 jabs have been administered since the beginning of the vaccination drive.

In Jammu, this figure is at 14,78,318.

Hussain also said as compared to Jammu, the pace of the vaccination in the valley was slower.

However, he said, this was mainly because of the vaccine hesitancy among the population in the Kashmir valley in the first few days of the drive.

While the percentage of the population in the age group of 45 years and above that has been vaccinated in the valley is 61.15 percent, the figure is at 85.66 percent in the Jammu region of the union territory.

Jammu district in the Jammu region has the highest percentage at 99.34 percent, while Kupwara, in north Kashmir, has the lowest of 27.57 percent, the officials said.

Meanwhile, National Conference (NC) on Sunday asked the administration to remove bottlenecks in the way of hassle-free and universal vaccination.

Expressing concern over the shortage of vaccines in the Kashmir valley, NC provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani said, "The scarcity of vaccines is not only affecting both the first dose seekers but second-time vaccine beneficiaries as well."

Calling for door-to-door and walk-in vaccination drives, Wani said the unavailability of vaccines at government vaccination centres often leads to rush outside the facilities risking more infections.

Several states have complained of shortage of COVID vaccines and have now decided to float global tenders to meet their vaccine need.

The state on Sunday recorded 4,141 fresh COVID-19 cases, raising the tally to 2,44,608, while 59 more deaths pushed the fatality count to 3,149 in the union territory, officials said.

Of the fresh cases, 1,690 were reported from the Jammu division and 2,451 from the Kashmir division, they said.

The officials said Srinagar district recorded the highest of 831 cases, followed by 625 in Jammu district and 320 in Budgam district.

The number of active cases is 51,623 in the union territory, while 1,89,836 patients have recovered so far, they said.

The death toll in the union territory due to the pandemic rose to 3,149 with 59 fresh deaths in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, amid reports of shortage of vaccines in Kashmir, no jab was administered across the 10 districts in the Valley on Sunday, the officials said.


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