Islamabad:Dr Faisal Sultan received the first dose of Sinopharm vaccine—not in his official capacity as the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Health but as a medical practitioner—here at the Vaccination Centre of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) on Monday.
“Every available vaccine against COVID-19 is effective against the disease and offers 90 percent protection against serious symptoms,” Dr. Faisal stated while interacting with the media, 30 minutes after having receiving the vaccines.
Dr. Faisal urged the media to desist from sensationalism and rumours when reporting on the efficacy of available vaccines and urged the general public not to pay heed to such propaganda. ‘Just get yourselves vaccinated with any available vaccine,” he urged.
“Those eligible for vaccination—be they healthcare workers or senior citizens—should immediately get themselves registered,” Dr. Faisal stated. He added, the government started off with vaccination of frontline healthcare workers in the first phase, and as the process caught pace, it checked availability of doses and realized that it could embark on the second phase, wherein general healthcare workers are being reached out.
The SAPM said, following the registration of citizens aged 65 years and above, people aged 60 years and above have also been included in the process from Saturday onwards. He emphasized that those who have been vaccinated should continue to practice safety and preventive measures including social distancing, hand washing, etc.
The SAPM appreciated the “exemplary role” of the media in disseminating information to the public during the entire duration of the pandemic’s spread, and said, health reporters will also be vaccinated against Covid-19 soon.
Dr. Faisal informed that Pakistan will have received 17 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine by June. The first tranche of the vaccine will arrive in the first week of March. “We have been told that 2.8 million doses will come in first, followed by another 2.8 million doses, and before June, we will have approximately 17 million doses,” he announced.
Responding to a query, Dr. Faisal said, none of the existing vaccination centres is currently over-burdened, and that their number will progressively be increased as the larger plan for vaccination unfolds.