Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services Dr Nausheen Hamid on Wednesday said that citizens above the age of 65 years would get Covid jabs from March 2.
Under Covax programme, Pakistan would get 2.8 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after which inoculation of the registered senior citizens would start, she said while speaking to the media.
The health parliamentary secretary said that people above the age of 65 could register for the vaccination as the second drive would start soon after the conclusion of health workers' immunisation.
She said the government, on the recommendation of the experts, had decided not to give the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine to the people of 60 years or above due to a lack of data available on its efficacy.
She said nearly 9 million elderly people from all over the country, including Gilgit-Baltistan, would receive the vaccine through the Covax facility which was a global alliance formed to ensure equitable access to vaccines for lower-income countries.
Pakistan was also one of the first countries that have allowed the private sector to conduct vaccination and drug regulator had issued guidelines for the private companies to set up centers for administering the Covid-19 vaccines, she added.
She said around 130 countries were still lagging in the vaccination process and Pakistan was among 65 countries that had pledged for a smooth vaccination process and entered the second phase of the coronavirus vaccine.
Responding, to a query she said the people would be administered the vaccine in two doses and the second dose would be given after two to three weeks of the first dose.
She also mentioned that Pakistan was fully prepared for undertaking the vaccination campaign and "we all are united in this mission".
The federal and provincial governments are collectively working to make the campaign a success, she concluded.
A day ago, the Ministry of National Health Services had however expressed dissatisfaction over the pace of vaccination of the frontline health workers against the coronavirus in Islamabad.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2021.