Around 115,000 frontline health workers in Sindh to get Covid-19 vaccine in first phase

Published January 4, 2021
Sindh authorities have identified some 115,000 frontline health workers across the province who would be inoculated in the first phase of the programme in two major centres. — Photo by Rabia Bugti/File
Sindh authorities have identified some 115,000 frontline health workers across the province who would be inoculated in the first phase of the programme in two major centres. — Photo by Rabia Bugti/File

KARACHI: As the Sindh government waits for first supply of 250,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses by mid-January, the authorities have identified some 115,000 frontline health workers across the province who would be inoculated in the first phase of the programme in two major centres, becoming the first province in the country that had already designed such a strategy to meet the challenge, officials and sources said.

After weeks of hardwork and endeavour, they claimed, the health authorities in collaboration with different public and private organisations had already finalised the detailed plan chalking out the strategy with micro details which suggested a mighty task and tiring exercise in the offing for the provincial administration that had already started taking experts, professionals and volunteers onboard for the upcoming first test of the long process.

An official confided though the health department on Friday had notified the Provincial Vaccine Administration Coordination Cell (PVACC), it was in the process to design the first Covid-19 vaccination programme in consultation with the experts from both public and private sectors who had documented bit by bit details of the exercise that was now only awaited to get executed once the vaccines were available by the federal government.

‘The process has already begun to register them and the job is expected to be completed in time’

“We have estimated some 115,000 health workers who are working as frontliners in this pandemic,” Qasim Soomro, a Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) from Tharparkar and parliamentary secretary told Dawn. Mr Soomro has been appointed one of the members of the Provincial Vaccine Administration Cell that would be headed by health secretary Dr Kazim Hussain Jatoi.

“The process has already begun to register them and the job is expected to be completed within the stipulated time. We are gathering number, establishing database through assistance of managements of health facilities dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic in both public and private sectors and our initiative suggest that it would be around 115,00 workers who would be vaccinated in the first phase,” he added.

He said the first phase of the Covid-19 vaccination was dedicated for the health workers who were part of this challenge one way or another. In the second phase, he said, senior citizens, and in the third one before the general population to get the shots people with co-morbidities (to be confirmed from previous investigation and prescription) would be vaccinated.

“For the first phase, the health minister, her team, senior officials of the department and every member have worked tirelessly and that’s why we have a comprehensive plan in place that only needs to be executed,” said Mr Soomro. “For instance, an emergency is being set up at Expo Cerntre where the first phase of vaccination for health workers would be executed, 50 cubicles are being set up where 5,000 individuals would be vaccinated in a single day at the rate of 5,000 people per day and 500 people per hour. It would be 12-hour shifts of six-hour each. In these 12 hours here would be two breaks for lunch and rest.”

Every individual, he said, who would be vaccinated would go through different checks and verifications and after the vaccination shots, he or she would be asked to stay for at least two hours at a dedicated place inside the centre before leaving for home.

“All people being vaccinated would be offered next day leave from their workplaces,” said Mr Soomro. “This is a national challenge and everyone needs to put his or her contribution. The people here in the process, the government, experts and professionals both from public and private sectors and the volunteers are giving their 100 per cent. Their commitment and ambitions give us believe that we would meet the challenge.”-

Published in Dawn, Jannuary 4th, 2021

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