Feature: COVID killed 5 times more unvaccinated people than vaccinated ones in IIOJK

Zehru Nissa

In the past three months, with the similar number of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals testing positive in Kashmir, deaths have been five times more among those who did not get a shot, J&K Government’s official data shows.

Divisional COVID19 Control Room (DDCR) Kashmir released the official analysis of the COVID19 mortality and hospitalization data. The data shows that 5086 people tested positive in Kashmir between August 19 and November 9. Of these, 21 succumbed to the viral illness.

The breakup of the cases and deaths on the parameter of the vaccination status shows little difference between the incidence of testing positive in the vaccinated and unvaccinated people. While 2329 of the fully vaccinated people found themselves testing positive, the number was 2757 in the unvaccinated lot. However, in the unvaccinated group, 0.65 percent people died due to the infection by SARS-CoV2, that is 18 fatalities. In the fully vaccinated, only 0.13 percent (One-fifth of the unvaccinated group mortality) succumbed to the illness. In the 12 weeks gone by, three deaths, the data shows, have been recorded in the fully vaccinated individuals.

Dr Rouf Hussain Rather, Community Medicine Specialist, working as In-charge of Data Analysis Section at DCCR Kashmir said the findings were significant and showed that COVID19 vaccination was “saving lives”. “Thus the un-vaccinated patients are 5 times more at risk of death than the fully vaccinated patients,” he said. While further detailing the analysis of figures, he said, the vaccine has been able to curb the incidence of hospitalization to a great extent and even though a high number of people were testing positive in the past few weeks, very few of these required admission. He said a comparison of the pre-vaccine period and post vaccine period in Kashmir was carried out and it was found that vaccines have cut down the rate of hospital admissions by more than half.

Detailing, he said, in the month of January this year, 10th of the month taken for reference, there were 1019 active cases in Kashmir and 254, that is 25 percent of these were admitted. On November 9, there were 1075 active cases in the division, and only 11 percent of these were admitted. “The vaccines reduce the severity of the symptoms, need to get hospitalized and of course chances of losing life,” he said.

Dr Hussain said the vaccines also reduce the chances of transmission in the community although people can still test positive. He stressed on the need to get vaccinated and taking the second dose. “Following SOPs along with vaccines is also important,” he said.

The Officer In-charge at DCCR Kashmir, Tahir Ahmad Magray said over 70 per cent of people in Kashmir have been fully vaccinated and the achievement has been possible with the involvement of all stakeholders. “We worked with the religious leaders, carried out awareness campaigns on mass media, including FM Channels, circulated inspiring and explanatory short videos where renowned personalities spoke about the vaccine safety and efficacy, used digital media and conducted training programs for behavioral changes. All this has shown good results and now, we can see its effects,” Magray said. Courtesy Greater Kashmir