May 2021 News

Vaccine shortage in Kashmir

16 May 2021

Srinagar: 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.