Around 0.5m health workers to receive COVID vaccine: Nausheen Hamid

ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services Dr Nausheen Hamid Wednesday said that federal cabinet has finalized the plan for initiating COVID-19 vaccination drive in three phases, where around 0.5 million essential frontline health workers would receive the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine whenever it becomes available.

Talking to a private news channel, she said in the first phase, 10 million people will be administered COVID-19 vaccines including 0.5 million frontline essential health workers and 9.5 million population over 65 years of age.

She said in the second phase, all health workers and population over 65 years of age will be administered the vaccines, adding, a defined proportion of the remaining population will be given COVID-19 vaccines in the third phase of the forthcoming drive.

The continuation of the drive will be made on the quantity of the available COVID-19 vaccines during the third phase, she added.

Nausheen Hamid said the five-member committee of the federal cabinet will function as an oversight body for procurement of the COVID-19 vaccine.

She further said that  several companies working on the development of a vaccine have been shortlisted and initial negotiations are under discussion.

Dr Nausheen said the government will consider multiple factors before procuring a vaccine, which include: the type of vaccine, its efficacy, its safety and side effects, storage requirements, cost, production capacity of the manufacturer and whether Pakistan has access to procure that vaccine.

Talking about Covid-19 vaccination side effects, she explained high fever, body aches, headaches and exhaustion are some of the symptoms participants in coronavirus vaccine trials say they felt after receiving the shots. These side effects are equal to other child vaccination which are minor, she added.

She said people should come and volunteer and not be hesitant. They can become the part of the team which is fighting COVID-19.

She said government officials including Interior minister and his wife voluntary were also took part in vaccination trial. – APP _{��8D�g|���;��”�.����A��MAJ韤”<�n���S!�̣�gJmn�r�V-���]�,Q�ALi��W�X����������D��Y��Oeo��h1�]�eW��l�3��H���;��U�ċb:�2����ע��x]ݱA��&)���� �q��