ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan launched Pakistan’s Covid vaccination drive, with the first jab administered to a doctor at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad.
The first vaccine was administered under the supervision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Frontline health worker Dr Rana Imran became the first person in Pakistan to receive the Chinese Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine.
While addressing the ceremony, the prime minister Imran Khan said that the health workers at the forefront of the country’s fight against the pandemic will get the jab in the first phase. He also thanked China for gifting 0.5mn doses of vaccine to Pakistan.
“The distribution of coronavirus vaccine will be fair and it will be distributed among the provinces on an equal basis,” said the prime minister.
PM Imran said that as compared to other countries, Pakistan remained safe from the worst impacts of the deadly virus and the rate of coronavirus infections is declining in the country.
The prime minister said that schools have been reopened and so will hospitals soon enough. “Our cases are at a decline right now. The more you follow SOPs, the easier it will be to save our people from coronavirus.” He said that other countries, owing to the high death rate, have had to go for complete lockdowns.
He once again appealed to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) to avoid the spread of deadly coronavirus.
The vaccine will be transported to Sindh and Balochistan by air while to Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by road.
Separately, COVID-19 vaccine will be stored at seven separate locations in the country for the vaccination process. Seven cities across the country have been selected for the storage process as both the Centre and provinces had expressed their satisfaction over the systems developed in the storage centres.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Faisal Javed said in his tweet: “Pakistan kicks off coronavirus vaccine drive from healthcare workers. The first vaccine was administered under the supervision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.”
Last day, a Pakistan Air Force aircraft brought back the country’s first consignment of COVID-19 vaccines from China, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan confirmed in his tweet.
“Alhamdulilah the first batch of Sinopharm vaccine has arrived! Grateful to China and everyone who made this happen. NCOC & provinces played an instrumental role in tackling COVID. I salute our frontline healthcare workers for their efforts & they’ll be first to get vaccinated,” Sultan stated in his tweet.
Pakistan has asked China for another one million doses. Pakistan is also set to receive 17 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine under a global scheme to deliver coronavirus treatments to developing nations. About 6 million doses will arrive by the end of March under the COVAX scheme, with the remainder due by mid-year, Sultan announced last week.
Pakistan has recorded 63 more coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, surging the overall death toll to 11,746, according to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).
The total count of active cases is 33,365 and the positivity ratio is recorded at 3.14 per cent. With fresh inclusion of the infections in the country the national tally of cases currently stands at 547,648.