Pakistan launches COVID-19 vaccination drive for people above 60

Pakistan launches COVID-19 vaccination drive for people above 60

Pakistan initiated the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive on Wednesday which aims to vaccinate people over 60 years. 

“The senior-most citizens will be on the priority to receive the doses of COVID-19 vaccine,” stated by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan. 

According to an official of the Ministry of National Health, those who have already registered will get a message regarding further instructions about their vaccine centre and date on their mobile numbers. 

People above 60 will also receive the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine which was given to health workers. It was confirmed by Sajid Shah, the spokesperson of the national health ministry. He also remarked that the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine “could arrive any time.” 

Planning Minister Asad Umar said “The COVID-19 vaccinations will be done in reversal according to age, which means the registered oldest person will be vaccinated first.” 

People above 60 years and all health workers can register themselves for the vaccine by sending their CNIC numbers to 1166 or through the website, https://nims.nadra.gov.pk/nims. 

The vaccination drive for health workers began on February 3 and is still ongoing. According to the authorities, at least 25% of the 400,000 registered health workers have been vaccinated so far. 

Previously, the government had declared that the Sinopharm vaccine was not suitable for people above 60 years. But on March 5, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan approved the dose for that age. 

Almost 2.8 million doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca-Oxford were claimed to arrive in Pakistan through COVAX, expectedly in the first week of March. However, the shipment got delayed due to unknown reason. 

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health ministry official has also reported that the country was in contact with other countries to receive 73 million doses of the vaccine, which are expected to arrive in the last quarter of 2021.