On Tuesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan was present at the occasion as the first Pakistani individual was vaccinated, marking the beginning of Pakistan’s mass inoculation programme against COVID-19.
The first person to receive the vaccine shot was a frontline doctor from Islamabad, while the PM and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Public Health Dr Faisal Sultan oversaw the procedure.
The Prime Minister, while speaking at the occasion, congratulated the government’s health team for successfully securing the vaccines in a short amount of time, while also thanking China for giving Pakistan 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine.
He also outlined the demographic coverage of the inoculation programme, informing the citizens that the vaccine will be first administered to health workers working with Covid-19 patients, followed by the elderly in the high-risk age group. “This (vaccine) is being distributed equitably among all the provinces so no one thinks we’ve provided more of it to one province,” he said.
The premier encouraged all frontline workers to get vaccinated against the virus, saying they were one of the highest groups at-risk. “If Allah has blessed Pakistan as compared to the rest of the world, we should be grateful for that and take full precautions,” he emphasised, while asking the public to wear a mask, regularly sanitize, and practise social distancing.
Till date, the number of COVID-19 cases in Pakistan has reached more than 547,000 infections, while 11,746 people have died at the hands of the virus.
The first batch of the vaccines donated by China had reached Islamabad a day earlier from Beijing on a special Pakistan Air Force plane. Pakistan is estimated to get 17 million more vaccine doses from the COVAX programme within the next few months.