Participants urge clear Covid-19 vaccination policy, rational distribution

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Zubair Qureshi

Participants while speaking at a webinar have suggested the Covid-19 vaccine donors to strictly monitor the distribution and administration of free doses being donated to the Pakistan government.
They feared that free vaccine doses might be grabbed by those in power and sold on high prices as it was done in the case of Covid-19 free testing-kits.
The trust deficit between the people and the government has widened, theyvsaid adding it was necessary to have external monitoring and control mechanisms for the Covid-19 vaccination to be in place to benefit the genuinely needy ones and the frontline workers and aged people.
They also urged the government to first develop an inclusive and integrated Covid-19 vaccination policy, followed by a strategic action plan. We are far behind in developing any inclusive and integrated framework for Covid-19 vaccination. Just firefighting would not serve the purpose to take care of the peoples’ healthcare and preventive needs. The federal government and the provinces have to be on the same page in this regard.
The participants urged the Chinese government to administer the free-doses of vaccination under their own supervision and by their own teams to ensure the rational use of the donated vaccine.
Very well-attended by the stakeholders and experts the webinar was organized by the Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) and DTN. The key experts included chief of the Prime Ministers Shelter Programme Naseem ur Rehman, Dr Masood Ghani, Dr Muhammad Ali, Dr Amena Hasan, Dr. Arshad Mahmood, HRDN CEO Robeela Bangash, Zatasha Niazi, Dr Khushboo Ejaz, local leader from Gilgit-Baltistan Iqbal Hussain, Azhar Qureshi, president Islamabad Crescent Lions Club Bashir Ahmed. Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed hosted and moderated the webinar.
Speaking on the occasion the Chief of the Pnanaghah (Shelters) Programme Naseem ur Rehman said the government would take care of the marginalized communities during the Covid-19 vaccination phase after the free-doses administered to the frontline workers including the medical professionals and aged persons. He hoped the leadership of Dr. Faisal Sultan and his team would rationalize and expedite the process.
He said the institutional gaps have widened and trust building is essential for such a type of national crisis impacting human security.
Dr. Muhammad Ali said many actions of the government were commendable though they were not taken well in time. Same is the case with the vaccination phase. We are not clear about it. Even the professionals are not aware of the clinical trials of any vaccines in Pakistan. Government should have engaged any think tank to develop a Covid-19 vaccination policy and strategic action plan after finalizing the vaccination trials. We have no data analysis of the vaccination trials that why we are preferring the Chinese one.

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