On January 3, administration like other parts of the India started vaccination to the children in 15-17 age group in Jammu and Kashmir. 8 lakh and 33 thousand children have been estimated to be jabbed in the J&K.
Government designated 10645 centres for providing the dose, the Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN which is the only vaccine with Emergency Use Listing (EUL) for the 15-17 years age-group and recommended by ‘Covid-19 Working Group’ of the National Technical Advisory Group on immunization.
Additional chief secretary health Vivek Bhardwaj had said that the government was hopeful to carry one lakh jabs and was hopeful of completing the task “very soon.” Chairing a meeting of Covid task force Chief secretary was informed that Jammu and Kashmir has administered 32% vaccine to 15-17 age category. While the government underlined that it was speeding up vaccination drive in the particular age group, there is need to do more, especially to overcome hesitancy that is shown up in the data itself. Such a scenario demands more work to be done to ensure more and more children are covered. Parents who hesitate, as per some experts, are taking “an enormous risk and continuing to fuel the pandemic.” The government must persuade more and more children to take the jab.
There is also a need to prioritize administering booster doses in vulnerable populations, besides, expediting vaccination among eligible sub-adults. Omicron has a growth advantage over the delta variant and as such requires ardent mitigation and containment measures from an early stage, preferably when the positivity rate breaks out the 10% benchmark.
The Omicron is perceived as less dangerous than the delta variant responsible for the second wave but the people need to raise their guard and remain cautious and vigilant to the infection since it has a high rate of transmission and can infect a larger group of people over shorter periods. It remains the social and moral responsibility of every citizen to be responsible for themselves and those around them. As urged by the Chief Secretary, people must exercise due diligence against any symptom of infection in the interest of their family members as well as that of society at large. The vaccines have proved highly safe and effective at reducing the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death, global data has shown. The administration must get its act together and take steps so that most of the eligible take the jab.