Pakistan government has decided to priorities giving the Pfizer vaccine doses to those who have a work visa, Federal Minister for Planning and Development and NCOC Chief Asad Umar said on Thursday. The objective is to vaccinate Hajj pilgrims and students proceeding for education abroad first.
Asad Umar said that the government is working hard to speed up the vaccination process across the country so that restrictions can be lifted and businesses are resumed.
The federal minister, who also heads the apex COVID-19 supervisory body, said that the vaccine acceptability issue is global and urged other nations to address it.
While responding to a question regarding the Pfizer vaccine, which the country received under the COVAX facility, Asad Umar said that Pakistan has received a very limited quantity of the vaccine due to which the government has decided to give the vaccine to those who are going abroad where it is mandatory.
Umar said that the government is launching a mass vaccination campaign and planned to establish 4,000 vaccination centers across the country.
The first batch of 106,000 doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 mRNA vaccine has already arrived through COVAX, while government is also planning to procure ‘1 to 2 million doses’ of mRNA vaccine directly from the manufacturer through the National Disaster Management Authority.
“Some big guns have already started approaching us to vaccinate them and their families with Pfizer’s vaccine but they are being refused as this is only meant for people with compromised immunity,” the official said and added that NCOC will distribute the vaccine to the provinces under strict instructions to prevent its misuse.
“We are worried about the misuse of the mRNA vaccine in Punjab and Sindh as they have done some irregularities, so a foolproof system of monitoring and tracking all the doses of mRNA vaccine is being devised,” the official added.