US, Pakistan partner launch pediatric vaccination campaign in Islamabad

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US aid

Schools in private sector fail to get 100pc consent of parents for vaccination of their children

Zubair Qureshi

As part of the nationwide campaign to vaccinate children, a COVID-19 vaccination drive was launched in the federal capital on Monday for the children of 5 to 11 years age group.

The campaign is launched with the support of the US government and as the first batch 8 million Pfizer pediatric vaccine doses donated by the United States will be administered to the children of the above-mentioned age group.

US Ambassador Donald Blome joined the Federal Health Minister, Abdul Qadir Patel to kick off the life-saving campaign at the Mass Vaccination Center in Islamabad.

Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel praised the commitment of both countries to combat COVID-19 in Pakistan and said, “Protecting our communities from COVID-19 is a shared priority of both of our governments, and these vaccines will keep millions of children safe from the most devastating impacts of the pandemic.” He expressed gratitude for the U.S. government’s support to improve health services in Pakistan and noted that it reflects the strong bilateral relations between the two countries.

Addressing health officials at the inauguration campaign, Ambassador Blome remarked, “Today, we celebrate the next step in protecting all Pakistanis against this devastating disease by launching the pediatric vaccination campaign. Our recent collaboration to protect the children of Pakistan demonstrates the importance of our longstanding partnership to work together and overcome the global challenge.”

Executive Director of NIH Major General Dr. Aamer Ikram, Director of General Health Services Dr. Shabana Salem, and other senior Pakistani government officials also attended the event.

Meanwhile, a number of schools, particularly those in the private sector, have yet to get parents’ consent for vaccination of their kids. Though they have been writing to them for the last couple of weeks but according to a number of schools’ heads they have not been able to get 100pc consent by the parents so far.

“We have many reluctant mothers and fathers who have been contacting us and asking a number of questions: Will it be safe for their kids? Is the cold chain is maintained? What is the surety that the kids will not fall sick after the vaccine, etc etc?” said one of the heads.

“We have been assuring them it will go smoothly and there is nothing to worry about but still, we have not received their signatures on the consent slip,” he further said.

Officials of the USAID along with the Ministry’s representatives visited a vaccination center in the federal capital and launched nationwide campaign to vaccinate children with the first batch of

A day earlier, it was decided in a meeting held under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, Irfan Nawaz Memon that around 300 vaccination teams would accomplish the task in collaboration with other stakeholders adding that the children would be inoculated two doses of Pfizer, Moderna and other vaccines available to the department.

During the weeklong drive, health workers would visit door-to-door, schools and hospitals to make it easier for children to receive jab at the earliest, the DC told the media.He appealed to the parents to cooperate with the health staff and get their children’s vaccination done as soon as possible.

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