Pak kickstarts countrywide COVID-19 vaccination drive

Islamabad, February 3

Pakistan began its countrywide coronavirus vaccination programme on Wednesday, with the first jabs administered simultaneously in all four provinces, a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the immunisation drive in capital Islamabad.

As per the schedule, frontline health workers are being vaccinated first, followed by the elderly citizens and then the rest.

The drive began after half a million doses of vaccines were donated by China on Monday.

The nationwide campaign is being held in major cities of all provinces and Pakistan occupied-Kashmir.

At the vaccination launch, Planning Minister Asad Umar, who is also the chair of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), said the simultaneous inauguration reflected a united national effort. He praised the health workers for risking their lives to save the people.

Advisor on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, on the occasion, said China’s Sinopharm has proved its effectiveness.

“Let me tell you something about the Sinopharm vaccine. Its efficacy is between 79 to 86 per cent,” he said, adding that 70 per cent of the population would be vaccinated by the end of the year.

He said presently over 500 vaccine centres were administering the vaccines with a capacity of 40,000 people per day and that the capacity would be increased soon.

Pakistan’s COVID-19 death toll stood at 11,802 on Wednesday, after 56 fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours.

In the same period, 1,384 new cases were reported, taking the total number of cases to 549,032, according to the ministry of National Health Services.

So far, 504,046 people have recovered from the disease in the country. — PTI

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