Jammu and Kashmir to accelerate COVID vaccination in 18-45 age group

Jammu: In a high-level meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam, it was informed that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has decided to accelerate the vaccination of people under the 18-45 age category in a focused and targeted manner.

Administrative Secretaries of the departments of Health & Medical Education, and Housing & Urban Development, besides Divisional Commissioners, Kashmir and Jammu, Deputy Commissioners, Commissioners JMC and SMC, and Mission Director, National Health Mission (NHM) participated in the meeting.

Currently, Jammu and Kashmir is among the leading regions in the country in vaccination of above 45 years age group by vaccinating 62% of its eligible population compared to the national average of 32%. Within J&K 4 districts have so far achieved 90% coverage in this age group. It is further expected that the remaining population in the 45+ age category will be covered within a few days.

Based on the likely flow of vaccine in the coming months, it has been decided that the vaccination programme for 18-45 age group with an estimated population of 60 lakh will be ramped up in a systematic and phased manner to prioritize coverage of high-risk and vulnerable groups.

For the 18-45 age group, the higher risk and vulnerable groups have been identified which include – shopkeepers /dhabawallas, hotel waiters & staff/thelawallas; services sector people engaged in door-to-door work (barbers, repairmen etc); drivers/ conductors; lawyers; journalists; faculty /staff/workers of the universities/colleges; Government employees on COVID duty/or in active field offices- viz employees of PHE, PDD etc.; construction workers registered with Construction Workers Board; tourism sector workers; people with disabilities (PwD); widows/single mothers; orphans; and persons with co-morbid conditions.

It was informed that to ensure proper outreach to the prioritized groups, special vaccination centers will be opened in specific locations such as RTO/ARTO offices, courts, municipal wards, construction sites, universities, and alike.

Deputy Commissioners were instructed to conduct surveys wherever necessary to ensure coverage of target groups within one month. The excessive outreach programme will begin from 25th May 2021, Tuesday with a targeted vaccination rate of 40,000-50,000 doses per day.

Further, it was informed that besides the high-risk population, priority will be given to districts with higher caseload and COVID positivity ratio to break the transmission chain and check the spread of infection.