PESHAWAR: The vaccination of frontline workers against Covid-19 will begin in 17 centres set up in eight districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday (today).
The province has recorded 32 deaths and 3,113 cases of coronavirus among the healthcare providers since early last year.
“The vaccination will start in the designated centres simultaneously. About 50 health workers would get shots in every centre per day. A total of 850 health workers will be administered first dose of vaccine.
The second dose of the vaccine will be given after 21 days,” officials told this scribe.
17 centres set up in eight districts
According to them, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has procured 16,000 doses, which are meant only for 30,000 of the healthcare providers including doctors, nurses, paramedics and staff associated diagnosis of the swabs taken from the suspected Covid-19 patients.
“The consignment we got from National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) has been transported from Islamabad to the main cold storage in Peshawar under strict police security. Supplies will be made to the respective centres on demand of the district health officers,” they said.
The health department is also considering to include staffers of Rescue 1122 in the list of frontline workers to protect them from the pandemic in the initial phase of vaccination.
The enlisted health workers will receive message on their mobile phone after which they will go to the respective centre for vaccination.
In Peshawar, which recorded most of deaths from Covid-19 among health workers and general public, five centres have been established to administer the vaccine to 250 healthcare professionals every day.
Special security measures have been taken in eight districts including Peshawar, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Kohat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Nowshera, Mardan and Swat where frontline staffers will be given the vaccine in two months.
There are clear instructions by NCOC regarding the protocols for safety of the vehicles transporting the vaccine as well at the centres of immunisation to ensure that the designated staff receives the doses.
Officials said that frontline workers were exposed to the virus. They said that three per cent of the nationwide Covid-19 cases were reported among the staffers providing services to the infected people in hospitals.
They said that the vaccination programme would be extended gradually to 280 centres in all 35 districts before starting vaccination of the high-risk groups above 65 and 50 years and those with underlying diseases. They said that 78.1 per cent of the persons, who died of coronavirus, were above 50 years and 74 per cent had comorbidities.
“In the second phase, when NCOC gives more vaccine to us, the staff associated with frontline workers will be vaccinated,” said the officials. In Pakistan, 133 health workers including 85 doctors, 44 paramedics, three nurses and one medical student have died of Covid-19 and 13,807 cases have been registered, according to a report of NCOC.
It said that of the infected people, 59 per cent were doctors, 26 per cent were paramedics and 15 per cent were nurses. It added that Sindh lost 52 health workers, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 32, Punjab 20, Islamabad 11, Balochistan eight, Azad Jammu and Kashmir seven and Gilgit-Baltistan reported death of three healthcare providers due to the virus.
Officials said that 94 per cent of the workers recovered from the infectious disease but they still risked the virus. During the past 24 hours, 16 new cases were reported, they added.
“Pakistan has reported 11,746 deaths and 502,537 cases and the second wave is going on, therefore, health workers have been placed on top priority for vaccination to ensure their protection against the disease,” said the officials.
They said that record about consumption of vaccine would be presented to NCOC on daily basis and demands for new consignments would be placed to it.
Published in Dawn, February 3rd, 2021