KARACHI: The Sindh government on Friday announced launching Covid-19 vaccination programme next week in 10 districts of the province and unveiled a detailed phase-wise plan to inoculate people, beginning with 170,000 frontline health workers.
In addition to the 82,359 doses to be received from the Centre, the provincial government also shared its plan for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccine on its own though federal authorities are yet to respond to its request for permission for the procurement.
“We are starting the vaccination from Wednesday [next],” Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah at a press conference. He was accompanied by a member of the Sindh vaccination taskforce and provincial lawmaker Qasim Soomro.
Mr Shah said 10 districts had been identified in Sindh where Covid jabs would be provided. “This programme will be initiated in all the seven districts of Karachi along with Hyderabad, Jamshoro and Shaheed Benazirabad.
“Preparations have been made and teams have been formed to launch the project,” he explained.
The minister said the province would get 82,359 doses of Chinese Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines which would be first administered to frontline health workers.
The Sindh government, he said, had devised a detailed strategy that would divide people into different categories considering their age and health conditions. “Apart from the centralised supply, we are also making arrangements to procure vaccines on our own,” he said.
“For that purpose, Rs1 billion from the provincial government has been set aside and more funds are being arranged. Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has also discussed the matter with the World Bank and some other donors. We have formally asked the federal government to allow us procurement and their reply is awaited.”
Mr Soomro said: “We have estimated some 170,000 healthcare providers are working as frontliners in this pandemic.”
“The process has already begun to register them. Our initiative suggests that there will be around 115,000 workers who will be vaccinated in the first phase,” he said.
The taskforce official said the Sindh health system was working proactively as even though federal government was yet to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, the provincial authorities had already set up 14 vaccination centres across Sindh, including nine in Karachi division.
Consignment due tomorrow
After the death of 11,560 Covid patients in the country, the first consignment of 500,000 anti-coronavirus vaccines is arriving in the country on Sunday (tomorrow).
According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), Islamabad, the vaccine is coming from China on Sunday and, in the first phase, it will be administered to frontline health workers and professionals in the first week of the next month, most probably on Wednesday.
“A special plane will be flown to China on Sunday and it will come back the same day with 0.5 million vaccines,” a senior official of the NCOC told Dawn when contacted on Friday.
The National Immunization Management System (NIMS) will be run at the national level through the National Vaccine Administration and Coordination Cell (NVACC) established in the NCOC. In addition to the Provincial and District Vaccination Administration and Coordination Cells, Adult Vaccine Centres (AVCs) have also been established across the country to support NVACC.
How to get administered
When the public is informed, the following procedure must be followed for vaccination.
Step 1: All citizens will send their identity card number to 1166 via SMS or use the NIMS website for registration.
Step 2: After verification, designated AVC and pin code based on current address will be sent via SMS to citizens.
Step 3: If the designated AVC is outside the existing Tehsil of the citizen, the citizen can change his AVC by calling the NIMS web portal or 1166 helpline within five days of receiving the SMS.
Step 4: Upon availability of vaccine in AVCs, citizens will be sent an SMS near the date of appointment.
Step 5: After successful registration, the citizen will come to AVC on the due date and time with their identity card or CNIC and received pin code (mandatory).
Step 6: In AVC, the administration will verify the ID card and pin code.
Step 7: After verification, the citizens will be vaccinated and the administration will enter the details in NIMS and a confirmation message will be sent to the citizen via SMS.
Syed Irfan Raza in Islamabad also contributed to this report
Published in Dawn, January 30th, 2021