PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday recorded 25 more deaths from coronavirus and 476 new cases amid plans to begin vaccinating the people aged 15-18 years tomorrow (Monday).
The province has lost 5,250 people to the virus and registered 168,258 cases since its outbreak in Feb last year.
Of the cases, 155,040 have recovered with 586 being reported in the last 24 hours, according to the health department’s Covid-19 daily report.
The report said the active coronavirus cases in the province totalled 7,967 and 11,537 suspected cases were tested for the infection.
It said 13 people died of the virus in Peshawar, three in Swat and one each in Mardan, Swabi, Upper Chitral, Bajaur, Abbottabad, Kohat, Bannu, Dera Ismail and Tank districts.
The provincial capital reported 138 new cases, Mardan 77, Lower Chitral 38, Swat 31, Bannu 28, Abbottabad 24 and Nowshera 20, while the positivity rate swelled from 11 per cent to 13.3 per cent in high-risk Peshawar district came down from 12 per cent to 9.4 per cent in Mardan and from 10.4 per cent to 5.8 per cent in Swabi in the last 24 hours.
Nowshera recorded an increase in the positivity rate from 5.6 per cent to 6.7 per cent.
Vaccination of people aged 15-18 begins tomorrow
The Covid-19 positivity rate declined from 5.8 per cent to 4.2 per cent in Abbottabad.
Officials of the health department told Dawn that they were beginning the vaccination of people in the 15-18 age bracket on the recommendation of the National Command and control Centre (NCOC) tomorrow (Monday).
“Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s nine per cent population is aged between 15 and 18 years. They will receive Pfizer jabs only as other vaccines aren’t recommended for this age group,” an official said.
According to him, there will be one centre in every district headquarters, except a few, the people under the age of 18 years will be required to produce Form B or smart cards issued by the National Database Registration Authority to get vaccine shots.
The official said special cold chain was required to store Pfizer vaccines, which couldn’t be kept in common cold storage.
He said the health department had supplied Pfizer vaccines and guidelines to the district headquarters.
The official said the immunisation of the people from the 15-18 age group had been recommended as they’re mostly asymptomatic for coronavirus even after being infected but transmitted the virus.
“As soon as vaccine supplies improve, we will increase the number of inoculation centres,” he said.
The officials said the province had 750 coronavirus vaccination centres, which had been administering vaccine to the people above 18 years of age, while every district had mobile vaccination vehicles as well.
They said 10 million people had been vaccinated against the virus in the province with 50 per cent of them receiving first dose of the vaccine and the rest both.
The officials said a total of 4,189 cases of vaccine reaction had so far reported in the province.
They said the side-effects of inoculation were minor like headache, fever rash and pain at injection site.
The officials said anti-coronavirus vaccine was safe and recommended worldwide.
They said the involvement of lady health workers in immunisation drive had improved the overage of female population.
The officials said the women were reluctant to visit vaccination centres but they’re getting the vaccine shots in their homes, which was a welcome development.
Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2021