"The system for vaccination is in place."
Pakistan is due to launch their Covid-19 vaccine drive, according to the country’s Federal Minister for Planning.
In the week commencing Monday, February 1, 2021, hundreds of vaccination centres around Pakistan will be open to administer the Covid-19 vaccine.
Frontline health workers will be the first to receive the vaccine.
Asad Umar made the announcement in a tweet on Wednesday, January 27, 2021.
Umar is also the head of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).
The system for vaccination is in place. Hundreds of vaccination centres in the country will be administering covid vaccine. Inshallah the vaccination of front line health workers will start next week. https://t.co/aRG07cMKgv
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) January 27, 2021
Umar tweeted: “The system for vaccination is in place. Hundreds of vaccination centres in the country will be administering Covid vaccine.
“Inshallah the vaccination of front line health workers will start next week.”
Pakistan is having 500,000 doses of the Coronavirus vaccine donated by China from the China National Pharmaceutical Group, SinoPharm.
So far, Pakistan has approved three Coronavirus vaccines: the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, the vaccine developed by SinoPharm, and Sputnik V developed in Russia.
According to officials, the safety, quality and efficacy of the vaccine will all be reviewed on a quarterly basis.
The Ad5-nCoV vaccine, being developed by China’s Cansino Biologics Inc, is also undergoing clinical trials in Pakistan.
According to Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, Dr Faisal Sultan, preliminary results of the trials may be available by February 2021.
Sultan also said that Pakistan could get “in the range of tens of millions” of vaccine doses under an agreement with Cansino.
Dr Ghazma Khalid, a member of the government task force on Covid-19, believes Pakistan would obtain vaccines from multiple sources. She said:
“There’s going to be an accumulation of vaccines, a consortium available, there’s going to be Chinese vaccines, there’s going to be AstraZeneca.
“We are the fifth biggest country in the world, and it’s going to be very difficult to immunise.”
In addition to this, Pakistan may have assured the availability of Coronavirus vaccines, free-of-cost.
The Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (COVAX) announced that Pakistan will receive two billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021.
COVAX went on to say that, out of the two billion doses, lower-income economies will receive 1.3 billion.
Therefore, the chances of Pakistan getting free doses of the vaccine in the first quarter of 2021 is high.
What is Pakistan’s Covid vaccine strategy?
The NCOC has outlined Pakistan’s Covid-19 vaccination strategy for when the vaccine doses become available.
The eight-step process reveals the country’s planned steps from registration to vaccination.
Firstly, Pakistani citizens must send their CNIC numbers by SMS to 1166 or register on the NIMS website.
They will then be directed to a vaccination centre based on their current address and will be notified about an appointment when vaccines become available at that centre.
Citizens must arrive for their appointment with their CNIC and a Pin Code that they received via SMS. Once their CNIC and Pin Code have been verified by staff, citizens will be administered the vaccine.
After their vaccination, the citizen’s details will be updated on the government’s database.