Islamabad (Web Desk): The national immunization drive against COVID-19 formally began across the country on Wednesday.
According to details, the healthcare staffs were administered with first shots of Sinopharm vaccine at a special ceremony at National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) in Islamabad.
Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar who also heads the NCOC initiated the national immunisation drive in a special ceremony while the chief ministers of all provinces participated in the event via video link.
Speaking on the occasion, Asad Umar said the health workers are our real heroes in the fight against the pandemic. This is the reason that it was decided to administer the vaccine to the health workers in the first place.
The minister appreciated China for providing the vaccine to Pakistan. “China is our true friend that has always stood by us in difficult times,” he said.
Asad appreciated all the stakeholders and leaders who work jointly in the country's fight against the novel disease. The provinces also held separate events to start the vaccination drive.
The first tranche of the COVID-19 vaccine has reached all federating units, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan and the frontline health workers will be vaccinated in the first phase.
Vaccination centers have been established in Lahore’s Services, Mayo, General, and Mian Mir Hospital. At least 6,000 health workers of Mayo Hospital will be immunized in the first phase.
Nearly 83,000 vaccination doses were shifted to Sindh in strict security by Rangers and Police after arriving in Karachi. Meanwhile, 10,000 doses of the vaccine have been provided to Balochistan. Inoculation drive in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will also start today.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday launched COVID-19 vaccination drive in Pakistan.
According to details, the first jab was administered to a doctor in Islamabad.
Addressing a gathering to mark the occasion, the premier congratulated the health team of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government and thanked China for donating 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to Pakistan.
“The vaccine will get be first administered to health workers working with Covid-19 patients, followed by the elderly in the high-risk age group,” the PM said.
He said that the vaccine will be distributed among the provinces on equal basis.
PM Imran once again urged people to follow the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
On Monday, the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Pakistan from China.
A special Pakistan Air Force (PAF) plane carrying 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine landed at the Noor Khan Airbase.
On January 28, the federal government approved the emergency use of three coronavirus vaccines including Russia’s Sputnik-V, China’s Sinopharm and UK’s Oxford-AstraZeneca for which a step-by-step guide was also issued.