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Weyan becomes first village to vaccinate 100% of its above 18 years population

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Srinagar: Weyan village in Bandipora district of north Kashmir has become the first village of the country where entire populations above 18 years has been vaccinated.

This national record is attributed to ‘J&K Model’ under which the administration decided to reach out to the people, instead of people coming to the vaccination centres, an official press release said.

Dr. Bashir Ahmed Khan, Chief Medical Officer, Bandipora said due to difficult terrain the vaccinators had to walk around 18 kms on foot to reach this village.

“It’s a village of nomads having no access to internet, so the health officials decided to take a difficult journey in this north Kashmir village and save precious lives. There is no route and it is a very dangerous trek but we didn’t rest until the last eligible person got the vaccine dose,” the CMO said.

He said the village is at a distance of 28 kms from Bandipora town and the road/vehicular connectivity is only up to the first 10 kms to a place called Athwatoo, following which one has to trek 18kms of foot over the hills to reach the village.

“Entire population of above 18 years – a total of 362 beneficiaries—has been vaccinated,” the CMO said. It is pertinent to mention here that the people of the village go to the upper reaches along with cattle

Meanwhile an official press release said the “J&K Model” has adopted 10-point strategy to vaccinate entire eligible population at accelerated pace. Despite initial vaccine hesitancy, the current achievement is more than 70 percent for above 45 years age, which is just double of the national average.

The first strategy is booth-level management involving preparation of eligible population list followed by “Vaccine on Wheels”, which is reaching out to people in far-flung areas.

State Immunization Officer Dr Shahid Hussain said maximum number of session sites in a day with well-coordinated vaccination efforts is also paying dividends.

“We have also worked out prior micro-planning and execution at each session site and involved police and media in crowd management and awareness. We have constituted in every district a dedicated team of healthcare workers, who were ready to work even during holidays and weekends. Coordination between various departments, like utilization of services of teachers and booth-level officers as verifiers and their training by Directorate of Health and Family Welfare is another key feature of J&K model,” Dr Shahid Hussain said.

He said that despite having difficult terrain in Shopian and Ganderbal, and poor mobile connectivity, the teams were relentless to vaccinate far corners of the district and deployed the influencers such as religious leaders, local elders to counter vaccine hesitancy among the people.

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