PESHAWAR: The health department is setting up mass coronavirus vaccination centres in Peshawar, Charsadda, Mardan and Swat districts for the speedy inoculation of the people against the virus as the National Command and Operation Centre, the country’s Covid-19 nerve centre, has promised uninterrupted vaccine supplies to the province.
The centre at the Khyber Medical University, Peshawar, will begin administering Covid-19 vaccine to the people on Tuesday, the Nishtar Hall’s on Wednesday and those being set up in the community centres of Charsadda, Mardan and Swat districts next week.
Officials said each centre would vaccinate 12-15 people simultaneously.
They said other districts would get mass vaccination centres afterward ensuring that 60,000 people receive vaccine daily from June 15 and 100,000 by July 1.
The officials said those facilities would be in addition to 482 vaccination centres, which were currently operational in 35 districts, where 500,000 had been vaccinated since Feb 3.
They said besides administering vaccine to 5,000 visitors daily, the KMU mass vaccination centre would also provide opportunity for the follow-up research.
NCOC promises smooth vaccine supplies
“The research will assess the effectiveness of the available vaccines and its associated factors in protection against Covid-19, monitor the adverse events following immunization, associated factors in the individuals by the type of vaccines administered and the impact of these vaccines on the severity of infection in case of re-infection,” KMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Ziaul Haq told Dawn.
According to him, a centre with PCR testing and sequencing facility and vaccination under one roof run by the public health scientists provides an ideal situation in the fight against pandemic.
He said the good performance of KMU and its collaboration with the health department had gained the trust of the community.
“We are hopeful that the vaccination will significantly increase after the establishment of this centre,” he said.
The VC said if a large number of the community were vaccinated and global herd immunity was developed, at least the critical Covid-19 would disappear and the ‘CoV-Exit’ could become a reality.
“Until that happens, we should continue adapting all SOPs and other public health measures, including lockdowns,” he said.
Some senior health officials said the NCOC had instructed all provinces to escalate vaccination to ensure that 110 million people above 18 years of age get vaccinated within eight months.
They said the mass vaccination centre at the KMU and community centres in the province would play a significant part for increased vaccination as many people were hesitant to visit hospitals and health centres due to the fear of infection.
“The KMU has played a crucial role in the diagnosis of Covid-19. It started virus diagnosis early last year from 40 tests and is now processing 2,500 swabs daily, which are to reach 4,000 in the next 10 days. The KMU has so far helped the health department establish 13 Covid-19 labs in the public sector’s hospitals,” an official said.
The officials said arrangements had been finalised to begin free Covid-19 vaccination in Dera Ismail Khan, Kohat, Bannu and Wapda Hospital, Tarbela, Railway Hospital, Mansehra and Jalal Baba Auditorium, Abbottabad, in the next few days.
They said the province was currently vaccinating 40,000 people daily.
Meanwhile, 24 more residents of the province lost life to coronavirus and 400 were infected with the virus on Saturday.
According to a health department report, 12 deaths were reported in Peshawar district, four in Abbottabad, three in Mardan, two in Swat, and one each in Upper Dir, Bannu and Haripur districts.
Peshawar recorded 125 new Covid-19 cases, Abbottabad 36, Mardan 35, Mansehra 28, Dera Ismail Khan 26, Swat 21, Kohat 20, Charsadda 19 and Bannu 18.
The report said the coronavirus-related deaths and cases in the province totalled 3,924 and 129,413 respectively. A total of 119, 241 patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 7,754 Covid-19 tests were conducted during the last 24 hours. The province has 6,248 active coronavirus cases.
Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2021