Health ministry, NCOC doing a commendable job by preventing virus from spreading

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Experts give useful tips on use of vaccination by people of different age groups, categories


Zubair Qureshi

The federal and the provincial governments despite meager resources and poor response from the public with regard to following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have done a good and commendable job with regard to controlling coronavirus and keeping it from posing a potential threat.

A prompt and effective response by Prime Minister Imran Khan-government to this severe health challenge came in the formation of the National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC) that is regularly monitoring the virus situation and taking measures to curb and control it.

A number of health experts and researchers while talking to Pakistan Observer on Friday said because all vaccines prevented severe COVID-19 and death, vaccination of a large cohort of the population is important if we want to save humanity from I’ll effects of the current pandemic.

Everyone should get vaccinated and encourage others to get vaccinated, said District Health officer of Islamabad Dr Zaeem Zia.

About vaccines from different countries, he said all approved vaccines including Pfizer, Moderna, Covishield and Covaxin have 100 percent efficacy and soon after Eid-al-Fitr, Pakistan will be administering vaccines to all citizens of all age groups.

Another health expert Ali Raza said nasal vaccines might be able to prevent even asymptomatic Covid-19 because it generates antibodies cutting chain of transmission and bringing an end to this pandemic

Recently, vaccination of 10,000 pregnant ladies has been done in the USA without any additional side effects seen up to 3 months of follow up, he said adding the pregnant women can be safely vaccinated.

To a question, he said, people with allergy to food, drugs, latex, venom or previous non-Covid vaccines can safely take Covid vaccine.

Only those with severe anaphylaxis to previous Covid or non-Covid vaccine should avoid these vaccines.

However, he said people who have had Covid in past must go for it four to six weeks after recovery.

Meanwhile, those who have received Plasma therapy should wait at least four weeks before taking a vaccine.

During these four weeks the preformed antibodies transfused in external plasma would wane off and this would avoid the neutralization of virus (protein) produced by Covid vaccine.

However, those with severe disease and have been admitted in the past should wait at least 4 to 10 weeks after recovery before taking any vaccine.

Dr Sajid Shah, a pulmonologist is of the view that those who are on Corticosteroids should decrease dose to less than 7.5 mg per day if possible for six weeks when taking the vaccine because higher doses act as immunosuppressive and may decrease immunity development.

Besides, people with nasal allergy, bronchial asthma skin allergy can be safely vaccinated, he said.

For older people, these experts’ advice is: Elderly people should be encouraged to take vaccines as risk of Covid mortality is high among them, particularly people with Dementia, paralysis etc or Neurological disorders should take vaccines as their Covid appropriate behaviour is likely to be compromised.

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