COVID Vaccination Drive Reaches India’s Highest Village

Manali: Kaza, a small town located in the remote Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh and Komic, a village considered to be India’s highest village connected with a motorable road, has achieved 100 percent vaccination in the age group 44 plus against Covid-19.

COVID Vaccination drive at Komic village in Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh (Photo: Sanjay Dutta)

“All the people in Komic, above the age of 44 years, have been vaccinated against Covid-19,” said Pankaj Rai, the district magistrate of Lahaul and Spiti in the trans-Himalaya region where the village is under whose jurisdiction the village is located at an altitude of over 14,000 feet.

Tenzin Norbu, Block Medical officer of Spiti let Hill Post know that “the entire population, above 60 years has been administered both the doses of Covid vaccine and those between 45-59 years have been given one dose. The process is underway for the second dose as per protocols of 12 to 16 weeks for 45-59 years age groups.”

Their initial hesitation, villagers in Spiti have come forward to get vaccinated against Covid-19. “The villagers are quite aware of the need for protection against the Covid-19 infection,” said Norbu.

A health worker at Komic village (Photo: Sanay Dutta

Fresh Snowfall early this month had disrupted the vaccination schedule for some days but it picked up as tribal’s themselves started coming in at vaccination centers, he added

Norbu said, “There is quite an enthusiasm among the natives of all age groups to get vaccinated. The health department teams, ASHA workers and other supporting officials were equally motivated to tackle climate and geographical barriers to achieve the task”.

The state government also allowed the sub-divisional administration to plan its own ways with 80 percent offline vaccination registrations as 10 out of 13 panchayats still lack access to the internet.

People of Kaza have forced tough restrictions on outsiders not allowing anyone without proper RT-PCR negative test reports. Connectivity to Kaza via Manali-Rohtang Tunnel as Kuzun Pass (14,931 feet) is still an issue because of snow.

Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice. He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express. With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology. Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.

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