More than 200,000 persons vaccinated

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Islamabad reports decline in new cases, vaccination centres to remain closed for three days during Eid


Zubair Qureshi

The health department of Islamabad at all the vaccination centres in rural and urban Islamabad has administered vaccines to over 200,000 persons (the first dose) of vaccine by Friday and these centres would work even during the lockdown except the three Eid days.

This was informed by the District Health Officer (DHO) of Islamabad Dr Zaeem Zia during a media interaction on Friday.

Islamabad on Friday reported 349 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and three deaths during the last twenty-four hours taking the overall number of cases to 774,414 and death toll to 702.

The health experts attribute this fall in daily cases to accelerated vaccination drive in the federal capital and people’s awareness about Standard Operating procedures (SOPs) and strict observance of them.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Secretary for health Dr Nausheen Hamid on Friday confirmed that the formulation and packaging of the Chinese-made Cansino Bio vaccine Convidecia had started in Pakistan.

This is the first Covid-19 vaccine that will be prepared in the country, said she while talking to media and added the single-dose vaccine was being prepared at the National Institute of Health with the help of Chinese experts.

A total of 160,000 Cansino vaccine dose concentrates are available in Pakistan, Dr Hamid said. “These will be ready by the end of this month.”

The country had signed an agreement for a total of three million Cansino doses, she added.
In the trials conducted in Pakistan, the Cansino shot had an efficacy of 74.8% at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 cases and 100% for preventing severe disease.

“By tomorrow [May 8] consignments of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine (Covishield) will also reach Pakistan,” the parliamentary secretary said.

We have signed agreements for 30 million vaccine doses with different companies, she added, commenting on the country’s vaccination programme.

By June, we’ll receive 19.8 million doses, said the parliamentary secretary adding, the government’s plan was to inoculate 70 million people–around 70% of the vaccine-eligible adult population–by the end of 2021.

“We have a whole plan in place according to population and vaccination centres,” Dr Hamid said, adding that backup vaccines were available in case of shortages.

The federal parliamentary secretary, said that the National Command and Operation Centre had the data of vaccines at different centres, and any shortages might be specific to a certain centre. She confirmed that vaccination for everyone over 18 years would start after Eidul Fitr.