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ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Chairman Asad Umar Tuesday said the government is to start walk-in vaccination facility for people above 40 years from Wednesday (May 12).

In a series of tweets, Asad Umar besides announcing the walk-in vaccination facility for people over 40 years of age, also explained that the government was giving COVID-19 vaccines based on age because of limited supply and vaccination capacity in the country.

Moreover, the minister stressed that it is important that the vaccination is concentrated on the most vulnerable segments of the society.

He said that the risk of mortality due to COVID-19 rises sharply with age.

Umar, who is also Federal Minister for Planning and Development, said “Starting tomorrow the 12th of May all 40 plus who have registered will be able to walk into any vaccination centre of their choice and get vaccinated”.

He also informed that vaccination centres are opened for this week and will only be closed for two days on account of Eidul Fitr.

The government is administering the Sinopharm, Cansino, Sinovac, and AstraZeneca vaccines free of cost. On May 4, the NCOC chief had said that the vaccination drive for Pakistanis above 18 years will start after Eid, if there are no problems with vaccine availability.

He then mentioned that both supplies of vaccines and vaccination capacity are continuously increasing with concerted efforts.

He also pointed out the death rate among people under the age of 40 years has risen during the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan. Earlier, it was one percent but has risen to 1.8 percent. “Only 7 percent of Pakistan population is above the age of 60 and 53 percent of all Covid deaths have been in this age bracket. Conversely 77 percent of Pakistan population is below the age of 40 and only 9 percent of total Covid deaths in Pakistan have been in this age bracket” “Mortality percentage which has been less than 1 percent for people under 40, rises to 1.8 percent for 41-50, 3.8 percent for 51-60, 7.2 percent for 61-70, 11.1 percent for 71-80 and over 15 percent for those above 80” he added in other tweets. “In Pakistan, the case fatality rate based on cumulative data this strong linkage in our country also reason why we are opening vaccination based on age in descending order is due to finite availability of vaccines globally, as well as vaccination capacity in the country,” the minister underscored.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021