About 27,000 healthcare workers vaccinated, 77pc in Sindh

Published February 11, 2021
A health worker receives a dose of the Chinese-made Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine, at the National Command and Operation Centre in Islamabad. — AFP/File
A health worker receives a dose of the Chinese-made Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine, at the National Command and Operation Centre in Islamabad. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: While around 27,000 frontline healthcare workers (HCWs) have been vaccinated against Covid-19 across the country in over one week, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday released a video to motivate HCWs for vaccination.

As many as 77 per cent of the vaccinated HCWs belong to Sindh.

The NCOC’s vaccine nerve centre has identified violations and irregularities in vaccine administration.

On the other hand, 1,072 new cases and 62 deaths were reported due to Covid-19 in a single day. The number of active cases, which was over 50,000 in December, has dropped to 30,512 and 2,168 of the patients have been hospitalised across the country.

On Feb 2, Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the vaccination campaign and the next day it was started across the country. Covid-19 vaccination is being carried out through adult vaccination counters (AVCs) established at 582 health facilities throughout the country.

According to government data, since commencement of the inoculation process, 27,228 HCWs have been vaccinated — 21,121 in Sindh, 4,458 in Punjab, 691 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 274 in Islamabad Capital Territory, 239 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 312 in Gilgit Baltistan and 133 in Balochistan.

Meanwhile, the NCOC has released a video in which the HCWs, who have been vaccinated, urge other HCWs and people to get themselves vaccinated.

Irregularities in vaccine administration continue, observes NCOC

In the video Dr Aftab Kakar from Balochistan says that he is perfectly fine after 72 hours of getting the jab and there is no side effect. Dr Syed Farhat Abbas, from Services Hospital, Karachi, says that he has felt no side effect even after five days of vaccination. Professor Mohammad Ashraf Zia, of Jinnah Hospital, Lahore, says the entire staff of his department has been vaccinated. Dr Shamshad of District Headquarters Hospital, Gilgit, says the vaccine is completely safe.

In the video Dr Aneela Sadaf Mengal of Services Hospital, Karachi, Dr Saima and others thank Prime Minister Khan for arranging the vaccine and taking the decision to give priority to HCWs.

According to a statement, the NCOC on Wednesday took an overview of progress in vaccine administration to frontline health care workers and particularly various operational and administrative issues needing prompt action. It was observed that an elaborate and well-defined procedure laid down by the NCOC and shared with all stakeholders had not been strictly followed by some, resulting in violations. The NCOC took cognizance of this and asked the provinces to ensure compliance to the agreed guidelines and procedures.

“NCOC vaccine nerve centre National Immunisation Management System (NIMS) identified various violations and irregularities in vaccine administration. [Federal Minister for Planning] Asad Umer said that NIMS was established to oversee the entire vaccine administration process and ensure transparency and data accuracy. NCOC will ensure implementation of the vaccine strategy already shared with all stake holders. Only the HCWs who are saving precious lives and registered in resource management system by provincial health departments are authorised to be administered vaccine in this phase of vaccination,” the statement said.

“No one else is allowed to bypass the NIMS. The complete vaccine administration record is maintained in the system for tracking and ensuring transparency. HCWs can check their eligibility by sending their CNIC number to 1166 or visit nims.nadra.gov.pk website. In the first step a confirmation message containing AVC and a pin code will be sent whereas in the second step the HCW will be informed about his or her appointment for vaccination at the designated AVC. In the third step, he or she will visit the AVC along with his or her CNIC and pin code. The health staff at the AVC will confirm their appointment and verify CNIC and pin code. The HCW will be vaccinated upon his/her turn. In the next step, the vaccination staff will confirm vaccine entry in NIMS and confirmation SMS will be sent. Finally, the HCW will have to stay for 30 minutes for monitoring after vaccination at the AVC. Moreover, in case of double shot vaccine the message will be sent after seven days,” the statement concludes.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2021

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