ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has launched countrywide drive to administer Covid-19 booster jabs and in first phase healthcare workers, 50-year-old citizens, individuals with weak immune systems, and others to be inoculated.
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) meeting held here on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Asad Umar, while approving the administration of Covid-19 vaccine’s booster shots, also directed authorities to adopt a zero-tolerance policy, saying people will be “vaccinated on the spot, if found unvaccinated”.
Moreover, the meeting was briefed about the coronavirus outbreak, casualties, and new patients brought to the hospitals.
The meeting agreed for taking strict measures regarding obligatory vaccination regime. It was discussed during the meeting that the vaccination teams should be deployed at various public spots to vaccinate the individuals on the spot.
Special campaign will be run for implementation of obligatory regime starting from 1st December onwards. The forum instructed the provinces and authorities concerned to show zero tolerance policy regarding obligatory vaccination regime. Call centres have been established to reach out to the people who have not got their second dose.
It was stated that 40 vaccination centres have been set up across the country. All the concerned authorities and provinces were directed to adopt a zero-tolerance policy.
The NCOC said the vaccination teams would remain present at public places to ensure the vaccination of each and every individual. The forum instructed the provincial representatives to focus on the spread of the new variant.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said that no case of Omicron variant of Covid-19 had been detected in Pakistan. Dr Faisal Sultan shared that “a meeting is scheduled today at the NCOC, during which, guidelines and policies regarding the vaccination will be finalised.”
“We cannot control the Omicron variant from coming to Pakistan, but we can control its impact by ramping up the immunisation process,” the health minister said.
“Our priority is those who have not been vaccinated at all. With more people immunised, we can control the impact. It is my appeal to the people to get vaccinated and follow the SOPs,” Sultan maintained.
A total of 40 call centres have been established across the country, while these numbers will also be increased to ensure second dose of vaccine.
Provincial health ministers and chief secretaries briefed the forum about the initiatives taken to boost up the vaccination campaign, improving testing numbers and establishment of call centres.
All provinces will start vaccination outreach campaign immediately to achieve the vaccination targets.
The provincial representatives also emphasised on the need to focus on the new variant of coronavirus and suggested to take necessary measures on airports to check the vaccination status and testing of expatriates.
The forum approved booster dose administration for three categories, which include health care workers, above 50 years and immuno-compromised. The dose will be free of cost and it can be administered six months after last dose of vaccine.
It was also emphasised that Omicron variant is spreading fast across the globe and the only protection against it is vaccination.
Basic SOPs including wearing of mask, social distancing, and hand washing should be ensured.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021