Issues in vaccination

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AFTER successfully handling the situation arising out of Covid-19, which is cited as case study the world over, the government is taking necessary measures to make on-going vaccination campaign a resounding success.

It is heartening to know that despite supply side issues and capacity to increase number of daily vaccinations, so far 5.5 million people have been administered jabs and Pakistan is among the top 34 countries in terms of vaccinating people.

In a welcome development, authorities have opened vaccination for the entire eligible population of above 18 and the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has announced opening walk-in vaccinations for citizens aged 30 years and above as well as for teachers sparking hopes that subject to strengthening of the supply the country would be able to achieve its vaccination targets.

However, the threat of virus is far from over and to add to worries the National Institute of Health (NIH) says the first-ever case of a highly infectious Corona Virus variant first identified in India has been detected in Pakistan despite a travelling ban on the neighbouring country in place since April.

It is hoped that authorities concerned would rigorously go for contact tracing to ensure that the highly contagious and deadly variant is contained.

At the same time, various issues in vaccination that cropped up in recent weeks need urgent government attention.

There are reports that some countries including Saudi Arabia are not allowing entry of passengers who have received Chinese vaccines despite latest reports that the CoronaVac vaccine reduces Corona Virus mortality by 97 per cent.

There is an acute shortage of Western jabs as the country received the first batch of one hundred thousand jabs of Pfizer on Friday, which is, of course, not enough to take care of outbound passengers especially those who intend to perform Hajj or Umrah.

Government should take up the issue with foreign governments on priority basis and also make efforts for procurement of vaccines of other companies registered by countries of interest to Pakistan.

The authorities should also explore the possibility of increasing local production of single dose vaccines as this would help cover more population at a fast pace.

 

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