ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) has started an awareness campaign about vaccinating pregnant women and lactating mothers against Covid-19.

According to data of the National Command and Operation Centre, the number of active Covid-19 cases on Tuesday stood at 41,754. Overall, 2,371 patients were admitted to hospitals across the country.

Just 689 cases were reported in a single day; earlier 663 cases were reported on June 21. As many as 18 people lost their lives due to the virus.

The ministry, in collaboration with Samra Noor Initiative, has set up separate, dedicated counters for vaccination of pregnant and lactating women.

Parliamentary Secretary Dr Nausheen Hamid on Tuesday inaugurated the counters at three Covid-19 vaccination centres in Islamabad — at F-9 Park, Rural Health Centre Tarlai and Federal General Hospital.

Ministry’s spokesperson Sajid Shah told Dawn that it was important for pregnant and lactating women to get themselves vaccinated.

“The risk of severe disease and death is very high during pregnancy if the mother is not vaccinated. The NHS ministry and World Health Organisation have confirmed that Covid-19 vaccine does not have any negative effects on the ability to bear children,” he said.

In reply to a question, Mr Shah said that unfortunately a large number of women hesitated to get inoculated and that was why more males were vaccinated as compared to females in Pakistan.

“Unfortunately, on social media it is being said that women should not be vaccinated. We suggest that they should go for the inoculation without any hesitation because all the studies have proved that the Covid-19 vaccine is not hazardous for pregnant and lactating women,” he added.

Mr Shah said the ministry had also urged the provinces to start campaigns for vaccination of pregnant and lactating women.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2021

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