PESHAWAR: The health department is increasing the number of Covid-19 vaccination centres in the province before launching a campaign to inoculate people above 65 years of age against the virus along with 80,000 health workers.
“Four more vaccination centres are being set up in Swabi, Charsadda, Malakand and Haripur on Monday. By the end of next month, each of our 35 districts will have at least one centre,” a health department official told Dawn on Saturday.
The province recorded five deaths by coronavirus in the day, while 170 residents tested positive for the virus.
The province has registered 2,032 deaths and 70,886 cases by Covid-19 since the advent of pandemic early last year, a health department report said. it said there were 2,169 active cases and 94 per cent of patients have recovered.
Five more lose life to virus in province
The health department officials said the province would receive 12,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine on Monday for health workers, who had taken the first dose.
They said the National Command and Operation Centre, which supplied the first consignment of 16,000 vaccine doses, would supply as many doses for health workers.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has so far vaccinated 4,000 of the total 30,000 frontline health workers, who are scheduled to be covered in two months.
The officials said the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine wasn’t recommended for the people above 60 years of age and therefore, the NCOC had pledged to supply the stuff from other countries to be able to immunise the elderly people.
“Anyone sending the computerised national identity card number to 1166 will get a message after verification from Nadra about the centre of his/her vaccination against Covid-19. It will be free of charge to all citizens,” an official said. He said if people lived outside their native districts, they should inform about their present address to get vaccination in the nearest centre.
“The vaccination of elderly people will start in the second week of March in all districts of the province,” he said.
The officials said the NCOC had promised the adequate supply of Covid-19 vaccine in the near future, so the whole population would be covered.
They said initially, there was some hesitation among health workers regarding Covid-19 vaccination but currently, more and more of them were visiting the centres.
The officials said Covid-19 incidence was on the decline and the focus was on vaccination.
They said it would be a long process to vaccinate the whole population for which the health department had already asked all district health officers, medical superintendents and relevant officials to upgrade vaccinations sections.
“To speed up vaccination of health professionals, we have simplified the mechanism and as opposed to previous instructions that they should wait for call from NCOC, now they can go to their nearest centres where they get vaccination. The elderly people with underlying health conditions would also the type of vaccines recommended for them,” an official told Dawn.
He said the national health services ministry had developed guidelines for Covid-19 vaccination.
The official insisted that no side effects of Covid-19 vaccination had been reported.
Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2021