PESHAWAR: As Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s death toll from Covid-19 reached 1,987 with the passing away of six more patients on Friday, the health authorities are making it easier for the health workers to get vaccinated against coronavirus while the demand for immunisation hasn’t been up to the desired level.
The health department is concerned at the lukewarm response of the workers to Covid-19 vaccination drive and has asked the staffers to contact call centres for vaccination instead of waiting for SMS in this regard.
The health authorities want to step up Covid-19 vaccination of its 64,000 frontline healthcare workers, but so far less than 25 per cent of the target population had been inoculated. The drive was started on Monday last.
A team of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) visited the medical teaching institutions in the provincial capital to boost up vaccination and ensure immunisation of 30,000 registered workers in the first phase of vaccination, which would last for two months. The staffers would be able to call the universal number and get appointment for vaccination at each of the 16 centres established by the government in eight districts.
The province has vaccinated 1,041 frontline healthcare workers in the centres against the target of 4,000 in last five days. The health department had planned to inoculate 800 frontline health workers per day, 50 at each of the centres, but the workers waited for calls from main system to know about their date of immunisation, officials said.
They now can contact call centres for early appointment instead of waiting for SMS
Now the workers have been granted opportunity to seek date for vaccination without waiting for SMS. As many as 103 staffers were vaccinated in KP on Friday.
The workers can call UAN 1166 and send their national identity card numbers to know about their respective vaccination centre and date.
Officials said the team of experts was of the opinion that the doctors and health staff should be on board in vaccination campaign to allay fears of would-be recipients against vaccines and ensure that more doctors, paramedics and nurses who were busy in treatment of Covid-19 patients in public hospitals got protection through vaccines.
The team also asked the health department and directors of MTIs to motivate the health workers who were at risk while testing and managing Covid-19 patients in hospitals.
Sources said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had also been considering adopting the Sindh’s model of Covid-19 vaccination to create demand for the 16,000 doses supplied by NCOC in the first phase.
Officials said that Sindh had authorised and made accountable the medical superintendents of the hospitals who knew how to manage the vaccination plan.
“The medical superintendents of hospitals are able to ensure rapid vaccination as they are immediate bosses of the staff. At present, there is no plan to increase the number of centres, but like Sindh the responsibility should be entrusted to local administration in the respective hospitals,” said an official. He said that Sindh had over 75 per cent of the nationwide vaccination.
Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2021