Punjab vaccinated 39m people so far: Dr Yasmin

Staff Reporter

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid on Tuesday declared that over 39 million people have been vaccinated in across Punjab province so far. “Around 50% population of Lahore has been vaccinated.”

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid was speaking at an event organized at Expo Center by US Consulate General Lahore to hand over a tranche of 320,580 Pfizer vaccine.

US Counsel General in Lahore William K Makaneole and the Health Minister visited the Pfizer vaccine counter and appreciated arrangements for vaccination.

Punjab Director General Health Services Dr Haroon Jehangir, CEO Health Lahore and other officials were also present on the occasion. The DG Health Punjab welcomed all guests and briefed them about the arrangements.

On the occasion, Dr Yasmin Rashid said, “Pakistan and the United States enjoy longstanding friendship. We are grateful to the US for support in Pfizer vaccine.”

She informed that currently over 87% new hospital admissions are of the unvaccinated people while among the patients under treatment at ICUs of public sector hospitals, over 95% are unvaccinated.

“It has become extremely important for everyone to get vaccinated. Everyone above 17 years of age must get themselves vaccinated as soon as possible.” The health minister said that children between 15 to 18 years are being administered Pfizer vaccine shots.

“Vaccination services are being scaled up in Punjab. I express gratitude to US Counsel General William K. Makaneole for donation of vaccination.”

In his speech, US Counsel General Mr. William K. Makaneole said the US Government donated 320,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine for Lahore on 10th September. He said more than 300,000 doses of Pfizer were earlier given for Multan and Faisalabad. He said the US was meeting its commitment on support for Pakistan.

So far, he added, the US Government had donated 15 million doses to Pakistan. He said that in partnership with COVAX, the US was providing support in vaccination to different countries of the world.

He thanked the Health Minister and appreciated the arrangements for vaccination at the Expo Centre.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid emphasized the need for increasing the use of ORS and Zinc to control diarrhea related child mortality in Punjab.

Speaking at launching ceremony of Diarrhea Management Project by Greenstar, Dr Yasmin said that Pakistan loses thousands of lives every year due to diarrhea among children. DG Punjab Health Services Dr Haroon Jehangir, DG Health South Punjab Dr Khalil, CEO Greenstar Social Marketing Dr Ayed Azizul Arab and representative of UNFPA and Pakistan Paediatric Association were also present on the occasion. The project has been launched by Nutrition International with Greenstar Social Marketing.

The health minister said, “I appreciate this great initiative by Greenstar Social Marketing for health of children.

According to WHO, a number of diarrhea-related deaths can be prevented by use of ORS. Greenstar SM will train over 3000 healthcare providers and 200 community mobilizers. After training, the community mobilizers will provide door to door awareness to mothers.

We will have to increase use of Zinc and ORS to reduce diarrhea-related mortality among children. The government is developing seven mother and child hospitals in Punjab.”

Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said in an important message to people that the government is providing free vaccination for 15 to 18 years age group and people must not pay to anyone for vaccination of this age group.

She said paid vaccination is only for booster dose as per government directions and people may contact 1033 for any guidelines.

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