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Kashmir: Trying to Get My Mother Vaccinated, Told No Availability

Shortage of vaccines has added to our desperation as cases rise.

Published
My Report
3 min read
Coronavirus Kashmir: Vaccine shortage amid second wave of coronavirus in Kashmir.
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“No idea when vaccines will be available.”

Since May, this has been the only response we have got from hospital staffers and medical workers in Kashmir, where my brother and I have been trying to get our mother vaccinated.

The Union Territory has not been spared of the surge in COVID cases amid the dangerous second wave. Along with curbs on movement, vaccines are the weapon with which the coronavirus can be fought. Kashmir, however, does not seem so lucky, with zero vaccinations on 16 May as per data available with the Kashmir News Observer. NDTV, quoting sources, reported that in the past week, Kashmir has not received any consignment of vaccines. We are unsure how long the wait will be. On the contrary, KNO notes, 8,750 people got jabs in Jammu.

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Media reports have been adding to our desperation and the shortage of vaccines is increasing our tension as cases are rising. My mother is but just one case. There are many in the same boat.

On 29 April, my brother booked a slot on the CoWIN website for my 60-year-old mother. After much ado, we got a slot for 5 May. But unfortunately, when the day came, my brother received a text stating that the scheduled vaccination had been cancelled. Since then, we have been running from one hospital to another to arrange the first dose of vaccine for my mother, but all in vain.

We even visited two government vaccination centres in the hope of an appointment. For a few days, they kept giving us dates. But whenever we went there, we got only one answer “Vaccines abhi nahi aaye” (vaccines have not come yet).

Screenshots of the text messages informing Khan of the cancellation.
Screenshots of the text messages informing Khan of the cancellation.
(Photo Courtesy: Raheel Khan) 

We waited for several days. On 17 May, I called one of the persons in charge of these vaccination centres to enquire about the vaccine, who very politely and straightforwardly answered that there was no vaccine. She said there was no information on when more vaccines will be available.

Hopeless, I visited one of the government dispensaries in Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar. But I got the same response. They went one step ahead and said, “Now, people here will get shots of some other brand at private hospitals.”

Unfortunately, I wasn’t alone. Many others, who stood in the queue for hours, had to leave disappointed. After all, these are desperate times. Right now, my brother and I are not thinking about ourselves. Our priority is our parents. Even though my father got his first jab, we are struggling to get one for our mother.

Nobody is ready to take responsibility for this shortage; on the contrary, the administration said there are enough vaccines. Do data and people lie?

We understand these are difficult times, but it seems like that nobody wants to be held accountable. People are running from pillar to post for a single dose of the COVID vaccine but have no idea who will address their grievances.

(All ‘My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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