More funds for vaccine


AS the second wave of Covid-19 is proving to be more fatal, the government has increased its fund allocated for purchasing the vaccine to $250 million from $150 million and signed non disclosure agreements with various multinational companies.
Given the threat posed by the virus both to the life and livelihood of people, no resource constraint should be allowed coming in the way of procuring the vaccine in sufficient quantity that caters to our entire population. There should also not be any delay in procuring the vaccine after considering various factors including that of its efficacy, safety, side effects, storage requirements, etc. The government must also stick to its earlier promise of providing free vaccination to all so that the have-nots could also get it. The health workers fighting on the frontline and the elderly people indeed should be vaccinated on a priority basis but the health and life of other people cannot be overlooked. Therefore the focus must be procuring the vaccine in adequate quantity so that there is no shortage of it. Whilst countries such as Russia has offered its vaccination to Pakistan, the phase three trial of Covid vaccine with the cooperation of China is already underway in the country and one expects the result of this vaccine will be more encouraging and positive. It will be a great honour for Pakistan to be amongst the countries manufacturing its own vaccine. Doing so will be beneficial for us in many ways as the domestic vaccine will not only be cost effective but its availability can also be ensured to a large population by increasing the production capacity as per the demand. At the same time it is highly important that the federal and provincial governments further increase their capacity of testing so that the infected people could be isolated or quarantined. A few weeks back Pakistani scientists had developed software based on artificial intelligence that can help detect the virus within a minute. Our hospitals should be provided with this software to bolster the testing capacity which will go a long way in checking the spread of the virus in the winter season.