Besides being the highest village in the world connected by motorable road, Himachal Pradesh’s Komic in Spiti Valley, now boasts of all its residents above 45 years and above vaccinated against the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The village placed at 4,587 metre above sea level has a total population of 60 of which 20 are 45 years old and above and all of them have received the second dose of the vaccine. The Kaza Block Medical Officer, Tenzin Norbu said: “We are happy that the villagers have taken their second dose, too.”
Even though the occurrence of viral illness is rare in this region, the villagers adhere strictly to the Covid-19 guidelines and rarely leave their houses.
Palzor, a resident there said: “If we walk out of our houses, it’s only for farming. The older generation stays home with the children.”
The frontline health workers in the region include Health Care Worker Prem Singh, who administers the vaccine, Kulwant Singh, who maintains record of the people being given the shots and the Accredited Social Health Activist Padma. They have been going to these high altitude villages including Komic to vaccinate the residents since January this year.
While the residents, including the old and young are enthusiastic about the vaccination, the limited Internet connectivity creates problems. “After seniors, now young people are enthusiastic about getting vaccinated. The challenge in this area is limited internet connectivity, so it becomes difficult for them to log on to the Co-Win portal to get registered,” said Padma talking to The Hindustan Times.
To overcome this, the Additional District Magistrate Gian Sagar Negi of Kaza under which Komic falls, said, the State Government was requested in May to allow offline registration for vaccinations, and it was subsequently allowed.
Lahaul and Spiti Deputy Commissioner Pankaj Rai in the HT article remarked: “Now 80% of the registration for vaccination is being done offline. Booking is done by calling up the health department and the slot is allotted based on lottery; 20% of the registration are still being done online but everyone has to first register for vaccination.”