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Pakistan to commence Covid vaccination drive from next week

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Islamabad, Jan 28 (IANS) Pakistan will kick start its Covid-19 vaccination drive across the country from next week with the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) unveiling a comprehensive plan to administer the life saving jab.

This was revealed by Planning Minister Asad Umar, who stated that the “frontline health workers would be among the first recipients of the vaccine”.

“God willing, the vaccination of frontline health workers will start next week,” 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,” he said in another tweet.

The vaccination drive is starting in Pakistan after China pledged to donate at least 500,000 doses of the vaccine, made by the Chinese firm Sinopharm. The first batch of the vaccines will be flown into Pakistan by Saturday.

Moreover, Pakistan will get more doses of Covid vaccine through other global sharing platforms under the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The forum would have 25 million doses for the Eastern Mediterranean region by March, rising to 355 million doses by December,” said a WHO official.

The NCOC, which is the nerve centre for Covid-19 handling in Pakistan, has prepared a plan to administer the vaccine across the country. The plan has been formulated after detailed consultation between the federation and the provinces and all the stakeholders.

As per the plan, vaccination centres have been established across the country, whereas staff training and other arrangements have also been completed to initiate the inoculation process.

“The National Immunisation Management System (NIMS) will run the drive at the national level through the National Vaccine Administration and Coordination Cell (NVACC), which has been set up in the NCOC,” read a statement issued by the NCOC.

“All citizens, including frontline healthcare workers, will be able to register by sending their ID card number to 1166 via SMS or NIMS website. The goal of the vaccine strategy is to vaccinate people under the integrated system,” the statement added.

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