Govt fixes Covid booster shot price for travellers going abroad at Rs1,270

Published August 28, 2021
In this file photo a syringe is filled with a first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccination clinic at the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA in Los Angeles on August 7. — AFP/File
In this file photo a syringe is filled with a first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccination clinic at the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA in Los Angeles on August 7. — AFP/File

The Ministry of National Health Services fixed on Saturday the price of a single dose of a booster shot against Covid-19 for persons travelling abroad at Rs1,270.

According to a notification issued by the ministry, the price had been fixed in pursuance of the National Command and Operation Centre's (NCOC) decision taken during a meeting on August 24.

The notification stated booster shots would be administered to travellers at selected vaccination centres upon the payment of the said amount.

It added that the payment could be deposited to the relevant account at all branches of the National Bank of Pakistan.

The decision comes as Pakistanis continue to struggle in the face of coronavirus-related travel restrictions with several countries not recognising Chinese Covid-19 vaccines, which have been administered to the majority here.

In a recent development, Saudi Arabia had decided to allow entry to foreign travellers fully vaccinated with either of the two Chinese vaccines, Sinopharm or Sinovac, provided that they also received a booster shot of either of the four vaccines approved by the Kingdom.

Later, it eased Covid-19 restrictions for fully vaccinated persons, allowing them to directly travel to the Kingdom from countries facing a travel ban, including Pakistan. However, the relaxation is only applicable for those who have a valid residency permit (Iqama) and left the Kingdom on an exit and re-entry visa after taking two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan had said during a press conference that a booster shot could be considered for frontline health workers aged above 50 after six months of their second dose.

Addressing media persons alongside Federal Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Minister Asad Umar after the August 24 NCOC meeting, he had added, “If this decision is taken, it will be implemented from Oct 1.”

He had further stated that the second category under consideration for the booster shot was fully vaccinated immunocompromised people and if permitted, they could get the booster jab six months after their complete vaccination.

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