Bird doses continue to be administered
The government has suspended immunisation in all districts and blocks of Kashmir valley since the COVID-19 outbreak was reported.
Talking to Rising Kashmir, State Immunisation Officer, Dr Qazi Haroon said, "Except the bird doses that are administered post delivery, vaccines for babies have been suspended for now."
However, Dr Haroon assured that the vaccines would be available in every district hospital and sub centre after April 15 if the situation remains under control.
Nowsheeba, mother of a newborn said, “We have not faced any problem related to the vaccines. The first dose was given at the hospital and the next date for my baby's vaccine is in May."
On delaying vaccines, Dr Sameena, a pediatrician at a local clinic in Srinagar, said, "Bird vaccines are provided within 12 hours of the birth. These vaccines include Polio vaccine and Hepatitis B. They work as a safety net against diseases for the child."
She said the vaccines are available at every government or private maternity hospital and are given post birth.
"The other essential vaccines can be delayed for a month or two. They don't create any problem but must be administered after the situation gets normal,” Dr Sameena said.
Vaccination has also been suspended in private hospitals due to the safety precautions against the COVID-19 spread.
"We have suspended the immunisation for now because of the directive, but the emergency vaccines post birth are provided to all newborns. We will resume the immunisation after the threat of the virus is over," officials at Ramzana Hospital said.
Dr Haroon said that bird doses were essential and babies could not be put at risk.