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The National Command and Control Centre has said Pakistan will receive 5.6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of next month (March).

“Over five million COVID-19 vaccine doses will reach Pakistan by the end of March, out of which 2.8 million doses of Gavi/Covax are expected to reach by the first week of March and 2.8 million doses by the second week of March,” said the NCOC.

This consignment includes AstraZeneca-Oxford’s vaccine which the country is getting through Covax. The vaccine will be used to immunise people over 65 years of age.

The NCOC added that 17.1 million vaccine doses will reach the country by the end of June.

The next phase of vaccination started today (Monday). All health workers can now register to receive the shot.

Special Assistant to the PM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan says this includes allied health professionals and those who work in clinical settings.

Nurses, dentists, doctors, pharmacists, allied health professionals (eg physical therapists, lab technologists and others). Also, those who wrk in clinical settings, in direct contact with patients (eg security, receptionists, porters, cashiers, cleaning staff, ambulance drivers)— Faisal Sultan (@fslsltn) February 20, 2021

Health workers are being given the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine which has two doses. The second batch of vaccines was distributed to the provinces by the NCOC on Saturday.

Sindh received the most doses–a total of 121,000. Punjab got 118,000 doses, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 28,000, Balochistan 16,000, Islamabad 15,500, Azad Jammu and Kashmir 11,000, and Gilgit-Baltistan 5,000.

Four vaccines have been authorised so far: China’s Sinopharm and CanSinoBIO vaccines, AstraZeneca-Oxford’s vaccine, and Russia’s Sputnik V.

Abdul Gh Lone

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