PESHAWAR: The provincial health department has received limited quantity of Pfizer vaccine to provide it to the people with low immunity against Covid-19 in line with the guidelines and on the recommendation of specialist doctors, according to officials.
The province procured 8,000 doses of US-manufactured vaccine from National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) and would distribute it to the hospitals for onward administration to people.
“NCOC has received 100,000 doses of the vaccine of which all the provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan were given their share with strict instructions to use it in line with the guidelines,” officials told this scribe.
They said that five hospitals including Khyber Teaching Hospital, Lady Reading Hospital and Hayatabad Medical Complex in Peshawar; Ayub Teaching Hospital Abbottabad; and Saidu Groups of Hospital Swat would be supplied the jabs on Monday.
These hospitals have specialist doctors, who would decide regarding administration of the vaccine to the immune-compromised people or those with underlying renal, heart, lungs and other chronic ailments. According to officials, the Pfizer vaccine has 94 per cent efficacy rate which would protect the target people against coronavirus.
Jabs to be provided to people with low immunity on recommendation of specialists
“There’s no commitment from NCOC if it would continuously dispatch more consignments to the provinces including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but there is hope that we would get the jabs as soon as the federal government receives them,” said officials.
They said that provincial government used four types of vaccine including Sinopharm, Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Cansino so far. The fifth type would be Pfizer-manufactured Moderna, they added.
Meanwhile, the province lost eight more people and reported 197 new Covid-19 patients on Sunday.
A report by health department said that the provincial tally of mortalities was 4,224 and cases were 136,074 since the advent of the pandemic. Of the infected persons, 128,242 (94 per cent), including 187 recorded during the last 24 hours, recovered from the virus, it said.
The report said that there were 3,608 active patients in the province. A total of 9,250 tests were performed in 17 Covid-19 laboratories throughout the province, it added.
Three persons died of the infection in Peshawar where 67 more patients were diagnosed with the virus whereas one each person tested positive for the virus in Mardan, Swabi, Swat, Dir Upper and Dera Ismail Khan.
Positivity of coronavirus swabs was recorded at 6.3 per cent in Peshawar, the hardest-hit district by Covid-19, while the other high-risk districts had less than five per cent infectivity rate, a report prepared by World Health Organisation said.
The number of Covid-19 admissions has also declined as currently 640 patients are in the hospitals. Of them, 26 are on ventilators and critical.
Officials said that government was still struggling to create demand for vaccination as people were not coming to get the jabs. The province vaccinated 60,000 persons in single day on Saturday and the health department is trying to enhance mobile vehicles for vaccinating of people at their doorsteps.
“We have 38 mass vaccination centres and 500 fixed centres but the inflow of people is not up to a desired level. Therefore, it has been decided to increase the number from 30 to 40 and cover all the districts. Presently, our mobile vaccination is in progress in 30 districts, the result of which is satisfactory,” said officials.
They said that attention was now focused on vaccination because there was no dearth of supply of Sinovac from the centre. “Everyone coming to the centre gets Sinovac but we are looking at ways and means to attract people towards immunisation.
The province wants to inoculate its 19 million people above 18 years by December for which we need to step up efforts,” they added.
Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2021