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ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Dr Faisal Sultan, Monday, while urging the health professionals to administer with the Covid-19 vaccine, said he has administered the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Talking to the media persons here, Dr Faisal said he got Covid-19 vaccine as a health professional not as the SAPM.

He further announced that Pakistan would be able to get 17 million doses of vaccine before June this year, including doses of AstraZeneca vaccine that would start arriving in the first week of March.

Sultan said the general health workers could get themselves registered for the vaccine through an online portal.

“The process to register people aged above 65 for the immunization process has begun,” Dr Faisal said, while adding that soon frontline health reporters would also be vaccinated against the virus.

He asked people who are vaccinated against the virus to continue adopting precautionary measures, while sharing, that the vaccine has proved 90 percent effective and safe against the infection.

He also lauded the positive role played by the media in creating awareness among the masses following the coronavirus outbreak and the Covid-19 vaccine.

Sultan, while dispelling the rumors being spread for the negative impacts of the Covid-19 vaccine, said the people must not listen to such hoaxes as the vaccine is not only beneficial to help minimize the impacts of the Covid-19 but also helpful against other diseases.

He said some people are confused over getting a vaccine shot and recommended them to get themselves vaccinated from any available vaccine.

He said the country is going for next phase of the Covid-19 vaccination as Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in to arrive in the country in early March.

He asked all those 60 years of age and older citizens to begin registration while sending their Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) number as SMS to 1166 on which they will receive instructions for the next steps.

He said 5.6 million vaccine doses will reach Pakistan by the end of next month, out of which 2.8 million doses of Gavi-Covax are expected to reach by first week of March 2021, and 2.8 million doses by second week of March 2021, while 17.1 million doses will reach Pakistan by the end of June this year.

According to officials, up to now, around 80,000 frontline healthcare workers have received coronavirus vaccine countrywide.

Meanwhile, Pakistan over the past 24 hours, reported 16 coronavirus deaths and 1,160 coronavirus infections.

The total coronavirus deaths of the country have reached 12,617 and the total cases 572,334, since the pandemic’s outbreak in February 2020.

According to the latest figures by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) 1,160 persons tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.

Sindh remains the worst-hit province by the pandemic in terms of positive cases followed by Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Islamabad.

Till now 256,220 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 167,819 in Punjab 71,043 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 43,485 in Islamabad, 18,988 in Balochistan, 9,828 in Azad Kashmir, and 4,951 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Furthermore, 5,208 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab, 4,292 in Sindh, 2,036 in KP, 492 in Islamabad, 288 in Azad Kashmir, 199 in Balochistan, and 102 in G-B.

Pakistan has so far conducted 8,718,555 coronavirus tests and 32,313 in the last 24 hours.

At least 535,491 coronavirus patients have recovered in the country, whereas, 1,605 patients are in critical condition.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021