After completing the vaccination against coronavirus of 4.5 million people, Punjab government aims to achieve a target of 40 million inoculations by the end of the current year.
According to sources, beside the general public, over 383,000 front line health worker have got the first dose of the vaccine in Punjab.
As many as 356 vaccination centres are operating in the 36 districts of the province, The number has been increased from 98 by establishing 258 new centres during the past two months.
The capacity for daily vaccinations has increased during the period from 20,000 to 200,000.
"In the current month it is our target that we will vaccinate 250,000 to 300,000 people in Punjab daily. By mid-July, the Punjab health department will be in a position to vaccinate 400,000 people daily. If we vaccinate 400,000 people daily then we will be in a position to complete the vaccination of 40 million people by the end of 2021," provincial health department's spokesperson Sayed Hamad Raza told The Express Tribune.
He said the department was striving to achieve the target and setting up more vaccination centres in the major cities of the province was a part of the plan.
According to an official of the department, hesitance on the part of some people because of rumours about the vaccine had been overcome and now they were coming formats to receive the jabs in large numbers.
"Four months ago, we were facing challenges in achieving the target of vaccination set by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC). However, now our performance has surpassed the target. The NCOC wanted 150,000 people vaccinated daily but we are carrying out vaccination of 200,000 people per day. This we are vaccination g 50,000 note people daily than the target set by the NCOC," the official said.
" Now the NCOC in a recent meeting asked us to ensure vaccination of 250,000 people daily. However, our target is 300,000 by the end of June," he added.
The official said the department sought to achieve 50,000 additional daily vaccination capacity than the target set by the NCOC.
He said more vaccination centres would be opened in the more populous districts, including Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Gujranwala.
The health department has set up three more vaccination centres in Lahore, including one at the Fountain House to serve people with special needs.
Punjab government is also planning to form task forces at the district level to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The panels heads by the deputy commissioners will include the district police officers, health authority chief executive officers and representatives of the NCOC.
"Punjab government has done a commendable job in the vaccination as it also launched an awareness campaign to make the exercise successful.
Today the people are seeking vaccination while the government has ensured maximum facilities at the vaccination centres. People should cooperate with the government and get themselves vaccinated," said Institute of Public Health Dean Dr Zarafshan Tahir.
She said the ratio of the spread of novel coronavirus in Punjab was continuously decreasing, while the death toll for last month was also lower than that recorded in April due to the speedy vaccination process.
Currently the vaccination of the citizens aged above 30 years is under way. The government has also started the vaccination of teachers, differently-abled people, senior citizens, medical students and artistes on a priority basis.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2021.