Pakistan has launched first batch of corona virus vaccine

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Pakistan has launched first batch of corona virus vaccine which is imported from its neighboring country China. In first phase people attached with healthcare departments such as doctors, nurses and paramedical staff will be vaccinated free of cost.

It is mile stone in the pandemic episode that Pakistan has started vaccination process from current week. Pakistan has so far approved three Corona virus vaccines — Russian-developed Sputnik V, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and the vaccine developed by Chinese state-owned firm Sinopharm.

According foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qurashi Pakistan got 500,000 vaccine doses from China as gift. For said purpose NIMS (National Immunization Management System) has shared 8 steps process (from registration to vaccination) for common masses. Same time government has also launched a special COVID-19 helpline (1166) for citizens to register themselves for vaccine.

During a press conference, Asad Umar, Federal Minister for planning shared that all arrangements have already been done to import, preserve and inject the corona vaccine.   Government has established a network of Corona vaccination centers on district and municipal level all over country where a common man can get this vaccine after registration.

This process was started in an event on Feb 2, which was witnessed by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad, on next day Feb 3, corona vaccination kicked off throughout the country. In mid of January 2021, Pakistan government has approved the usage of this vaccine on emergency bases.

Fahad Mahmood, a Molecular Technologist, at SHIFA Hospital (a private hospital) in Islamabad was the first one who was vaccinated.

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“You know, this virus, I am talking about the corona virus, it is new one and its vaccine is under clinical research process this is why there is protection concerns in a native Pakistani same time around the globe people have safety issues related to the vaccine. Personally I believe that vaccine has come at the stage that scientists are able to vaccinate the people. I have no hesitation to claim that it is essential for everyone to vaccinate him. After vaccination, for time being I am Ok “Mr. Mehmood was talking to Eat News.

Dr. Nausheen Hamid Member National Assembly and Parliamentary Secretary on Health while speaking to Eat News told that in first drive, healthcare staff, in second phase people with 60 years of age and above will receive the vaccine. “In third drive corona vaccine will be injected to those registered masses who have the age bracket from 18- 60 years , as far as below 18 years population is concerned, they will not part of vaccination process” she told.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

According to officials of EPI (Expanded Program on Immunization), assistance has been taken from NADRA (National Database & Registration Authority) to locate the data of citizens with 60 years age and above.

Prime Minister’s special assistance on health Dr Faisal Sultan, during media briefing told that in initial phase, with help of data it is observed that Chinese imported vaccine Sinopharm is not suitable for public above 60 years, while Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is more appropriate for aforesaid age group. He said “when a new medicine is introduced in any society, few segments of the general public do not have proper compatibility, which is not an ‘uncommon’ thing”. 

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Official data released by NCOC (National Command Operation Center) corona virus doses has been distributed to provinces with following details:

  • Sindh Province 84 thousand doses
  • Punjab Province 70 thousand doses
  • KP Province 65 thousand doses
  • Baluchistan Province 10 thousand 300 doses     

There were unusual and exceptional security arrangements were observed during the vaccine transportation process.  According to Primary and Secondary health department of Punjab, after receiving from China, vaccine theft, terrorists or militant attack during the transportation and its exchange with fake vaccine are potential threats which caused security beefed up during the vaccine shipments to other parts of the country.

On other hand NCOC (National Command Operation Center) has issued the special instructions for the transportation of vaccine. For safe and secure transportation, Police, Rangers or Army security vehicle will cover the vaccine containing van. The details (shipment date, time, vehicle number, location, route and other details) will keep secret to the common people. It is also instructed that vaccine shipment van will not stop from ‘origin to destination’ while vaccine will be monitored through cctv cameras in cold storage. “A contingent of QRF (Quick Response Force) will remain standby to response any emergency if needed”, instructed by NCOC.    

Asad Umar, Federal Minister for planning and development told media that “although there is no threat alert regarding militant attack on vaccine; however, these all security steps are taken as preemptive measure”. 

According to Health Ministry of Pakistan, this vaccine assists the immune system to prepare the safeguard shield of antibodies against new form of corona virus. It is also expected that Pakistan will get more vaccine doses in upcoming days.

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Mohammad Farhan Niazi is a correspondent for Eat News in Pakistan and is an experienced senior producer with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in feature and news writing, non-linear editing, radio, multimedia journalism, Online journalism, film production, and sound. Strong media and communication professional graduated from University of Peshawar.

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Eat News is a Taiwanese digital media, analyzes current events and issues through column articles, videos, visual aid, and exclusive interviews.

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