Amid a shortage of COVID-19 vaccine doses, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday said the third phase of the inoculation drive that will cover people in the 18-45 age group will not begin from May 1 in the union territory. The new date will be announced once vaccine supply is established, it said.
Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education, Atal Dulloo said the union territory expects to receive vaccines by May 20. The third phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive is set to roll out across the country from May 1. However, many states have said that they would be unable to do so due to the shortage of vaccine doses.
“While the registration for vaccination of eligible persons in the age group 18-45 has been opened on COWIN, the actual vaccination will not begin from 1 May 2021. It will begin from a date to be announced later once the vaccine supply is established,” the Department of Information and Public Relations said on Twitter. It said those eligible will not be allowed to walk in for vaccination and will have to pre-register for it.
“No slots have been opened for booking a session. Please wait for the announcement of the vaccination start date for the 18-45 age group,” it added. The administration, however, said that the vaccination of those over 45 years will continue normally.
It said the union territory has ordered 1.24 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine, among the highest in the country, to cover the entire population in the 18-45 age group. “We have placed orders for supply of vaccines to undertake free vaccination of people in the 18-45 age group. We expect to get the vaccines by May 20,” Dulloo said.
He said 3,000 to 4,000 vaccination centres will be set up to ensure that there is no rush during the vaccination drive. “We are preparing for vaccinating about 65 lakh people in the 18-45 age group from the next month,” he added.
So far, 22 lakh people above the age of 45 have been vaccinated in Jammu and Kashmir, Dulloo said.