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J&K rolls out third phase of COVID vaccination drive in phased manner

SRINAGAR: The third phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive to cover people in the 18-45 age group began in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday in a phased manner starting with the cities of Srinagar and Jammu.

Srinagar Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Aijaz Asad kick-started the vaccination drive for the people in the age group of 18-45 years at Shri Maharaj Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital here.

Officials said 1.25 lakh new doses of the two vaccines -- Covaxin and Covishield -- reached the valley on Saturday.

Asad said the eligible people must get themselves registered and that nobody will get the jab without registering for the vaccination.

He said a total of 10 designated centres have been set up by the district administration for the people to be vaccinated.

"The number of designated centres will be increased soon," he added.

Earlier in the day, the Jammu and Kashmir administration said COVAXIN will be administered to the 18-45 age group free of cost.

"It will be by prior registration and prior appointment only. Please do not crowd the vaccination centres without appointment," the Department of Information and Public Relations said on Twitter on Saturday.

The government has announced a free of cost vaccine for the people falling in the age group of 18-45.

The first consignment of the Covaxin vaccine arrived in the valley from Hyderabad on Saturday, the officials said.

They said 15 boxes having a total of 75,000 doses of Covaxin were received at the Srinagar airport from the Hyderabad airport in the morning.

The officials said another consignment of 50,000 doses of Covishield vaccine from the Serum Institute of India, Pune, also arrived at the Srinagar airport.

Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday recorded its biggest single-day spike of 3,832 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 1,79,915, while a record 47 fatalities in the last 24 hours raised the toll to 2,330.

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PTI