Covid-19 vaccine rollout in Pakistan: What’s the progress?
Vaccines help people develop immunity to a virus or other germ. The coronavirus has spikes of protein on each viral particle that help the viruses attach to cells and cause disease. Some of the Covid19 vaccines in development are designed to assist the body to “recognize” these spike proteins and fight the coronavirus that has them.
Covid 19 vaccines are safe and effective. You may develop side effects after the vaccination but that is normal. People who get Covid-19 after vaccination represent about 1/100th of 1 percent of those who’ve been inoculated.
For years scientists and doctors have treated vaccine skepticism as a knowledge problem and it still is. Experts say this is because although the vaccines are highly protective, they’re not 100 percent effective and so far 14 vaccines have been authorized across several countries.
Pakistan rolled out its COVID-19 nationwide inoculation drive on 2nd February this year with front-line health care workers slated to receive the jabs in the first phase.
Beijing was the first one to donate 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to Islamabad as a “goodwill gesture” to help the country deal with the health crises and Pakistan being the first country to receive the Chinese government-donated vaccine.
According to the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination Dr. Faisal Sultan, Pakistan has so far inoculated 2.1 million people.
Which vaccines have been made available to the country’s population of over 200 million?
The country has so far received Sinopharm, Cansino Bio, Sputnik V, and Sinovac vaccine and currently two Chinese and one Russian vaccine are being used across the country.
The vaccine had been inoculated to first frontline health workers, in the second phase, people of age group (over 65), the third phase is currently underway in which people over the age of 40 are being vaccinated.
Recently the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) had granted emergency authorization to the SinoVac’s vaccine.
After the two-dose Sinopharm and single-dose CansinoBio vaccine, SinoVac, third Chinese Vaccine, and forth coronavirus vaccine is also being used in Pakistan. UK’s AstraZeneca and Russian Sputnik V vaccines have also been approved by the DRAP.
It is pertinent to mention that the officials of NHS reported that in addition to 100,000 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, COVAX has also assured that the country would be provided 2.5 million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine and the first batch of 1.238 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will be reaching Pakistan on 10th May.
The Chinese Sinopharm vaccine was the first one given to frontline health workers and people over the age of 60. According to reports, it was 79% effective in preventing COVID-19 infections. It needs 2 doses to work after a gap of 21 or 28 days. It is relevant to note that the vaccine starts working after the second shot.
The efficacy rate of the Chinese CanSino vaccine is 65.7% however in Pakistan, it has proved to be 74.8% effective in fending off symptomatic cases and shown 100% success in halting severe cases of Coronavirus. This vaccine requires only one shot to work.
Russian Sputnik V vaccine allows around 92% protection against COVID-19. It is a 2-dose vaccine that works after the second dose.
The country received the first tranche of Sputnik V in March and it had been made available for sale only privately.
The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine has an efficacy of 63% against Covid19 infections. It is a 2 dose vaccine with a gap of 8 to 12 weeks.
Some efficacy studies revealed that the Chinese Sinovac (CorornaVac) vaccine is found to be 85% effective against hospitalizations and 89 percent effective in preventing severe cases.
It is a two-dose vaccine preferably given 28 days after the first dose.
It is noteworthy that currently there are 845, 833 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Pakistan, with 18,537 overall and 108 deaths in the last 24 hours.
If you want to know about the process of vaccination, pay heed to the information below.
For Registration: SMS your CNIC no to 1166 from any mobile no or visit nims.nadra.gov.pk
Senior Citizens (50+) – Register yourself and just Walk in to the nearest center for vaccination.
Citizens (40-49) – Vaccine Centre and date will be communicated through SMS.
Registered HCWs – Vaccination Centre and date will be communicated through SMS to registered HCWs as per schedule. All un-registered HCWs to visit hcw-rms.nitb.gov.pk/hcw/register and get registered.
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