Peshawarites struggling to get second shot of Covid vaccine

Published July 25, 2021
A dose of the Covid-19 vaccine is administered to a health worker in Peshawar. — Photo provided by Sirajuddin/File
A dose of the Covid-19 vaccine is administered to a health worker in Peshawar. — Photo provided by Sirajuddin/File

PESHAWAR: Residents of the provincial capital have complained that they’re struggling to receive the second dose of coronavirus vaccine due to the failure of the National Database and Registration Authority to share their information with vaccination centres.

Mohammad Shakil of Gulbahar area told Dawn that he, along with many other residents, visited the Nishtar Hall mass vaccination centre to get the second jab but the staff members turned them away saying the Nadra hasn’t notified them about their inoculation schedule.

He said he sent a text message to 1166 helpline again as directed by the centre but was formally told to wait for vaccination.

Other visitors to the centre also made a similar complaint.

Insist Nadra has failed to share their information with inoculation centres

Two people insisted that the vaccine they sought was unavailable at the facility.

The health department insists that it’ll take up the matter with the National Command and Operation Centre, the country’s nerve centre in the fight against COVID-19, for corrective measures.

While claiming that there’s no vaccine shortage in the province, the officials said the Nadra was supposed to notify inoculation centres about the people, who got themselves registered with the helpline for the first or second dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

“We’re going to report the matter to the National Command Operation Centre to ensure an immediate action by the Nadra,” an official told Dawn.

The health officials said the province had vaccine in large quantity, so the people could visit any of the 800 vaccination centres set up across the province.

They insisted that the visitors should show the centre staff the text message they received after getting the first dose to get the second and that there was no need to wait for the due vaccination.

The officials said the inoculation centres had seven types of Covid-19 vaccine and only one or two of them were in short supply.

They said the centres remained closed on the first day of Eid and reopened thereafter administering vaccine to 38,000 and 45,000 people on the second and third Eid day, respectively.

The senior health officers expressed concern about the slow pace of vaccination and said they had repeatedly asked the district health officers to motivate people to get themselves inoculated against the virus for own and others protection during the pandemic.

They said three million people had so far been vaccinated in the province, which was 16 per cent of the 19 million targeted population.

The people’s complaints about vaccination come amid six more coronavirus-related deaths and 132 new cases in the province.

According to a health department report, two people lost life to the virus in Kohat and one each in Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan, Abbottabad and Nowshera.

The department carried out 6,117 Covid-19 tests. The provincial capital recorded 72 new cases, Abbottabad 13, and Nowshera and Mansehra 12 each.

The new cases from other high-risk districts stayed in the single digit.

In Peshawar and Swabi, the coronavirus positivity rate was 13.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent, respectively. The overall positivity rate in the province was 2.3 per cent.

The officials said they were concerned over the people’s disregard for standard operating procedures during Eid days, especially in tourist areas.

They said the holidaymakers largely didn’t wear face masks and ignored social distancing and hand hygiene guidelines.

The officials feared a spike in coronavirus cases in the days ahead and said though the hospitals had enough space to admit patients, the district administrations should enforce SOPs to stem the spread of the virus.

Our correspondent from Mansehra adds: The district administration on Saturday sealed the New Balakot City and deployed the police and health officials there after coronavirus claimed three lives.

Assistant commissioner Sardar Jawad Marwat told reporters that the deceased died during hospitalisation.

He said deputy commissioner Dr Qasim Ali Khan had ordered the sealing of the area.

The official said around a dozen people had contracted the virus in the area.

According to a notification issued by the district administration, Taj Mohammad and Mohammad Bashir died of Covid-19 at the Ayub Medical Complex Abbottabad and Mohammad Rafique at the King Abdullah Teaching Hospital Mansehra and they lived in Mohallah Abbasia’s street Nos 69, 61 and 35 of the New Balakot City, respectively.

Mr Marwat said the no one was allowed to leave or enter the area by the policemen deployed there.

He said special health teams were deployed to administer Covid-19 vaccine to the residents of the New Balakot City.

“Smart lockdowns will be imposed wherever coronavirus cases are reported,” he said.

Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2021


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