National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) chief Asad Umar said the government has decided to vaccinate all citizens aged 19 and above in line with the recommendations of the healthcare authorities.
According to the planning minister, the registration will start from Thursday. Umar said that “now registration will be open for the entire national population which is approved by health experts for COVID-19 vaccination”.
On May 21, Umar had announced that vaccination for citizens aged 30 and above will start from the next day. The minister had tweeted, “In today’s NCOC meeting it has been decided to open up vaccination for 30 years and older starting tomorrow [May 22]. The messages for those who are being scheduled will go out today.”
WORLD BANK FUNDS VACCINE DRIVE:
Earlier this month, the World Bank approved the provision of $153 million to support the ongoing national vaccine drive in Pakistan to help the country fight the pandemic.
A statement from the global financial institution had confirmed that the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved the restructuring of the Pandemic Response Effectiveness in Pakistan (PREP) project, which was originally approved in April 2020.
These funds, redeployed at the federal government’s request, will help finance the purchase and deployment of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines that meet the eligibility criteria of the WB.
The project will strengthen the health system’s capacity to implement the vaccination campaign for its prioritised and eligible populations, the statement said.
“The third wave of COVID-19 emerged in Pakistan in March 2021 and is threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people,” World Bank Country Director for Pakistan Najy Benhassine had said.
“The World Bank remains a committed partner to support Pakistan in addressing this public health crisis, including through vaccination, and providing support to tackle the social and economic impacts of the pandemic,” he had added.
The statement said in addition to this financing for vaccines in Pakistan, the World Bank had provided $768.5 million to support the vaccination purchase and rollout efforts in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
“In addition to financing, the Bank is providing technical assistance and knowledge-sharing workshops for countries in South Asia on different aspects of designing and deploying fair and equitable vaccine strategies,” it was said.