Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar. SCREENGRAB

Impressive vaccine drive surpasses 100m mark

Umar urges masses to receive jabs to protect themselves as well as their families

Our Correspondent October 23, 2021

The country crossed a major milestone of administering 100 million jabs during the nationwide anti-Covid vaccination campaign, as the global pandemic continued its downward trend, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said on Saturday.

Planning Minister Asad Umar, who heads the NCOC—the nerve centre of the government strategy to contain the coronavirus spread, said in a video message that the number of “fully vaccinated” people had now risen to 38 million.

“Thanks to Allah Almighty, the number of vaccinations in the country today has exceeded 100 million.” Umar said. “It is very important that people who have taken one dose receive the second dose to get themselves fully vaccinated,” he added.

Read more: Coronavirus travel bans boost Pakistan's domestic tourism

The achievement of the milestone was hailed by Dr Faisal Sultan, the special assistant to prime minister on health. He said that the government had done its best to protect the people from the coronavirus pandemic through an effective strategy.

“Pakistan crosses the milestone of administering 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine,” Dr Sultan, the de facto health minister of the country, said. “The authorities are administering 700,000 to one million vaccine shots on a daily basis.”

So far, Dr Sultan said, 67.9 million Pakistanis, who form 45% of the country eligible population, have received at least one dose of the vaccine. He added that currently the pace of administering the vaccine doses has been accelerated.

Umar also underlined that a single dose or partial vaccination ensured limited immunity against the deadly contagious disease whereas the complete vaccination was necessary for complete protection from the disease.

He asked the partially vaccinated people to get their second Covid-19 vaccine shot to complete their immunisation. He urged the non-vaccinated individuals to get coronavirus vaccine for the safety of their families, society and themselves as soon as possible.

Also read: Rs5.5b donated to Pakistan for Covid fight

Meanwhile, the NCOC in a tweet on its official handle shared the latest disease statistics, depicting the national positivity ratio declining to 1.4%. It said that during the last 24 hours, 552 more people tested positive for the contagious disease.

According to the forum, 1,648 Covid patients were under treatment in critical condition in various Covid-dedicated healthcare facilities of the country. Also during the last 24 hours, some 15 patients died due to the deadly virus.US cooperation

Meanwhile, Umar held a virtual meeting with the US State Department Coordinator for Global Covid Response and Health Security, Gayle E Smith, and briefed her on Pakistan's efforts against the pandemic, including the ongoing vaccination campaign.

During the meeting, both sides agreed to remain engaged for further bilateral collaboration in the health sector to achieve the sustainable development, the embassy of Pakistan in Washington said in a statement.

The minister stressed the need to learn from collective experiences and lessons of the global Covid-19 response. He thanked the US government for providing valuable support for Pakistan's Covid-19 response, noting in particular the provision of Covid vaccines.

Gayle appreciated Pakistan's efforts against Covid-19, saying that Pakistan was an important partner in combating the pandemic. She said that the US government had so far provided around 16 million vaccination doses to Pakistan and was trying to increase that figure.





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