National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) head Asad Umar has said that the government will start walk-in vaccinations for people over 40 years old from Wednesday.
Pakistan is among few countries in the world that have allowed private labs to administer the jab. However, the government is using Sinopharm, CanSino, and AstraZeneca to vaccinate people in phases.
According to Umar, who is also the planning minister, people who have registered for the jab can walk into any vaccination centre of their choice and get the dose.
He said the vaccinations efforts are concentrated on the most vulnerable segment of the population due to the high mortality rate. “The risk of mortality due to COVID-19 rises sharply with age,” he added.
The minister said that people over 60 account for 53 per cent of the COVID deaths in spite of the fact that the comprise mere 7 per cent of the population.
He further said that mortality percentage is less than 1 per cent for people under 40.
ASTRAZENECA NOT FOR PEOPLE UNDER 40:
Pakistan government has announced that it will not use AstraZeneca — a vaccine it received through COVAX — on people aged under 40.
In newly issued guidelines, the government said the interval between two doses will be three months instead of an earlier four-to-eight weeks period.
On Saturday, Pakistan got the first shipment of the AstraZeneca. The consignment comprising 1,248,400 doses of the vaccine reached Islamabad airport under the COVAX facility. Pakistan was supposed to get the first tranche of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine via COVAX in March, but the supply was delayed after the Serum Institute of India (SII) diverted supplies to meet its domestic needs.
Pakistan has so far received 10.19 million doses of different vaccines (Sinopharm, Sinovac, and CanSino). The NCOC said that one million doses of Sinovac will arrive on May 13 and another 1.5 million doses are expected by the end of the current month.