83% healthcare workers in Kashmir refused COVID-19 vaccine, claims doctors’ association

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More than 80 percent of the healthcare workers – doctors, nurses, and paramedics – in Kashmir valley have opted out for the vaccination of COVID-19, a doctors association has claimed.

The Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday said that “more than 80 percent of the healthcare workers have turned down the vaccine”.

It said the “most frequent explanation for hesitancy is mistrust and misinformation”. “Other reason for reluctance is that most healthcare workers are young and they feel invincible … some simply want to wait as they are fearful of being first in line,” the DAK said.

The COVID19 vaccination process was launched in Kashmir on 16 January and the healthcare workers were to be vaccinated in the first phase.

The association which is headed by Dr. Nisar-ul-Hassan, claimed that “out of 7,000 healthcare workers at Government Medical College Srinagar and its associated hospitals, only 1,167 (16.67 percent) have received the vaccine as on February 09”.

“5, 833 workers (83.33 percent) have opted out of the vaccine,” the association said in a statement. “Such a large percentage of medical personnel declining to take the vaccine is a major concern,” it said.

The association termed it “a troubling development”.

“Medical staff would imperil patients by snubbing Covid-19 shots,” Hassan, the DAK president, said. “Unvaccinated staff have the potential to transmit the disease to patients who are vulnerable to Covid related complications and death.”

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