PESHAWAR: Amid the federal government’s decision to vaccinate the people aged 65 and over against coronavirus, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department has said the tally of vaccination centres in the province will reach around 500 next week.
The vaccination of the elderly will begin on March 8.
“We [department] have established 280 Covid-19 vaccination centres in the province and will set up 216 more by March 2 taking the overall tally to 496,” a senior health official told Dawn.
He said the department had made elaborate arrangements to administer anti-coronavirus vaccine to 250 people daily at every centre.
The official said the National Command and Operation Centre would begin the registration of the population of over 18 years from the first week of March.
People aged 65 and over to get jabs from March 8
He said early next week, the province would get 70,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to be administered to its frontline health workers and elderly population.
The official said the province had initially recorded a lukewarm response from health professionals for Covid-19 vaccination but it had managed to vaccinate at least 1,000 people daily and had so far administered the vaccine to 14,000 people.
“Until March 5, we will provide vaccine to health workers to be able to protect 30,000 registered health professionals to be followed by the vaccination of the elderly population,” he said.
The officials said the NCOC had registered 19 million people aged over 65 years for vaccination throughout the country, who would get the jab from next week.
They said the vaccination of health workers had increased due to a change in the policy as previously, they were sent messages on the basis of which they visited the respective vaccination centres but currently, all health workers had been asked to dial the 1166 number and get vaccinated the very next day.
“The focus will be the vaccination of the population of over 18 years, who are exposed to the infection. Students, travellers, and daily, railway and transport workers will get priority for vaccination,” an official said.
The official, however, said the department was ready to vaccinate the population of over 18 years as there were no vaccine shortages.
He said the NCOC wanted the provinces to expedite vaccination at ‘all costs’.
Officials said the people with underlying health issues would also be vaccinated after the arrival of other vaccines.
They said currently, China’s Sinopharm vaccine wasn’t recommended for the patients of chronic issues.
Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recorded two deaths by and 159 cases of Covid-19 on Saturday.
A health department report said the province’s overall tally of deaths from coronavirus had reached 2,072 and of cases 72,162.
It showed that 262 more people recovered from the virus taking the number of such patients in the province to 68,024.
Officials said the trend of coronavirus cases and mortalities was going down in the province after the start of hot weather and there were indications that the incidence would further decline in the weeks ahead.
They said more attention was being given to the motivation of the people for vaccination as the threat of infection would remain there for next few months.
The officials said the pandemic-related restrictions would be eased next week as all activities would be allowed through strict compliance with the standard operating procedures.
Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2021