KARACHI: The Sindh government needs two million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to offer booster shots free of cost, said Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho on Monday.
“We urge the federal government to improve surveillance at all entry points, including airports, and restart the rapid antigen test for passengers. Second, it’s important that people get booster doses so their immunity is enhanced against the virus,” she told a press conference against the backdrop of the new Covid-19 variant Omicron threat.
Right now, the minister pointed out, the provincial government did not have sufficient vaccines for that drive. “That’s why we have asked (the federal government) to provide us with 100,000 doses of Pfizer, 500,000 doses of Moderna and 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca,” she said.
People above 65 years of age, patients with suppressed immune systems and front-line workers would be the first to receive booster shots that would be offered free of cost, the minister added.
About the severity of the new Covid-19 variant that has reached several countries, Dr Pechuho said that though much was known about it as studies were continuing, Omicron had shown 30 mutations, which were not observed earlier in any of its strains.
“There is no evidence yet about the presence of this new variant in Pakistan. However, the process of genomic profiling is in progress and the department would look into the cases Covid-19 reinfection in vaccinated individuals,” she said.
Published in Dawn, November 30th, 2021