Door-To-Door Vaccination In Villages Along Line Of Control In J&K

The door-to-door campaign was started in February


Doctors and vaccinators are trekking miles every day to administer vaccines to villagers living near the Line of Control in Jammu And Kashmir. At Baniyar Block in Baramulla district, health officials have achieved almost 100% vaccination of first dose for age group 45 and above.

Most of the villages near Line Of Control have no access to internet and online registration is not possible. Health officials say this is the reason they decided to go for door-to-door vaccination.

“The population of Boniyar is over 80,000 and it’s all scattered over a hilly area and very difficult to reach. Most of the area touches the LoC…and 60 per cent is without internet facility. So to overcome this difficulty we started a door-to-door campaign,” said Dr Parvez Masoodi, Block Medical Officer Boniyar.

Kashmir has been facing a severe vaccine shortage this month but in Boniyar area vaccinators say they have already covered age group above 45 before the stocks ran out.

The door-to-door campaign was started in February in difficult mountainous area dotted with dense alpine trees. Umar Shakeel and Ishfaq Ahmad, the two vaccinators say they have administered 10,000 vaccines during their door-to-door mission.

The challenge of regular supply of vaccines persists. Those who have taken the first jab are still awaiting the second dose, three months later.

For past two weeks, most centres in Kashmir reported zero vaccination because of non-supply. While government claims fresh supplies have reached the Valley and vaccination resumed three days ago, the daily vaccines administered is dismal – just 2,500 doses across 10 districts of the Valley.

“I took the first jab on February 19. I visited our health facility at least 3 times to get my second jab but vaccines have not come for second dose… there are many people like me who are waiting for second dose,” said Ghulam Nabi Sheikh, Sarpanch of Boniyar.

Given the scarce supplies reaching Kashmir this month, uncertainty over second dose has overshadowed the vaccination achievement in the Border area. For vaccinators, getting vaccine supplies is a tougher challenge than trekking mountains and walking long distances to safeguard people against Covid.