Dr Faisal dismisses ‘speculations’ on Covid vaccine shortage

Coronavirus vaccine being administered to Pakistanis is safe, says PM’s aide on health


News Desk May 18, 2021
REUTERS/FILE

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Dr Faisal Sultan, while rejecting the speculations regarding non-availability of Sinopharm vaccine in the country, on Tuesday said the vaccination campaign will continue without any break.

Pakistan in its coronavirus vaccination drive mostly used vaccines imported from China. The country on Sunday received another consignment of Covid-19 vaccine from China, comprising 1.2 million doses.

The country has received over 13 million doses of China’s Sinopharm, Sinovac and CanSino Covid-19 vaccines and AstraZeneca from the COVAX, according to National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

Dr Faisal, while addressing a news conference in Islamabad today, stressed that strict adherence to SOPs is imperative for countering the third wave of coronavirus in the country. He said people are encouraged to vaccinate themselves on priority basis to lower risks of contracting the contagion.

According to latest figures, the PM’s aide said, a decline in Covid-19 cases has been recorded due to effective implementations of SoPs. He also lauded the efforts of NCOC in this connection.

He said the vaccination drive for 40 above has already been commenced from May 12.

Earlier in the day, Dr Faisal updated the nation about the vaccine safety profile that out of 3.8 million plus doses, 4,329 reports of adverse effects have been reported so far and nearly all reports were of mild, expected side effects.

Taking to his official Twitter handle, Dr Faisal Sultan said of the 4,329 cases, 90 per cent involved pain at the site of injection or fever. He further added, “Only 6 serious events reported – each investigated thoroughly and each found to be coincidental and non-attributable to vaccine.”

NCOC, the country’s nerve centre for Covid-19 response, also said, in a tweet, that vaccine’s side effects, if any, can be reported by calling help line 1166 or visiting webpage https://nims.nadra.gov.pk

Army orders 2 million doses of Russian vaccine

Pakistan’s armed forces have finalised a deal of two million doses of Russian Sputnik V vaccine for Covid-19. The first consignment of 200,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine will be transported to Pakistan from Abu Dhabi airport.

An aircraft of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) will airlift the first batch of the Russian vaccine from Abu Dhabi to the country, according to sources.

Private hospitals in major cities of the country have also started inoculation drive with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine imported by a pharmaceutical company.

Earlier on Monday, a special flight of PIA brought one million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from Beijing as the federal government paced up the vaccine roll out in the country. Currently, vaccines are available for citizens aged 30 and above across the country.

(With input from DNA)

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