Times Pakistan
Daily News & Headlines

Health workers refusing Covid-19 jab to be sacked, warns minister

Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho has threatened to sack healthcare workers who would refuse to get themselves vaccinated against Covid-19.

“We have started the process of Covid-19 vaccination in Sindh where all healthcare workers are being registered for the vaccination. All those healthcare workers who do not take part in the process of vaccination and get themselves vaccinated would be terminated,” Pechuho said while presiding over a meeting on Wednesday on the establishment of adult vaccination centres across the province.

Currently, frontline healthcare workers are being vaccinated in the country, including Sindh, but many frontline healthcare workers are showing reluctance to get themselves vaccinated, especially after Covid-19 cases have started declining.

The Sindh health department has already announced the payment of a health risk allowance to healthcare workers who would get the vaccine jab, but the announcement failed to lure a large number of doctors, paramedics and nurses to get themselves inoculated, forcing the health minister to issue stern directives for action and now a warning of termination from the service.

The meeting was attended by health secretary Kazim Jatoi, health director general Dr Irshad Memon, Emergency Operation Centre for Polio Coordinator Fayyaz Abbasi and the district health officers from Sindh.

The minister focused on the needs and requirements of each district in terms of vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers. During the meeting, the importance of vaccinating frontline healthcare workers against Covid-19 as rapidly as possible was emphasised in order to curb the spread of the infection through health professionals.

Pechuho emphasised that healthcare workers not willing to receive the vaccine would receive show-causes notices and would not be allowed to work as they could potentially cause spread of the disease and further mutations of the virus. The first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine is being rolled out in every division and district in Sindh, and efforts are underway to start the second dose for those who have received the first one. SMS alerts will be sent out to those registered to update them on the availability of the second dose.

The AstraZeneca vaccine will be available by early March, and healthcare workers as well as members of the public who are above the age of 60 will be notified so that they could register with their CNICs to receive their first doses. It was decided that the DHO of each district would be responsible for monitoring the vaccine doses as well as for ensuring that the cold chain of the vaccine was properly maintained.

The meeting issued directives to keep a close eye on adverse effects following immunisation, record all such incidents and immediately report them to the health department.

Due to the rapid need for adaptability in terms of vaccine centres, it was also suggested that both public and private facilities be utilised in order to serve the greatest number of individuals.

The meeting was told that so far around 198,484 healthcare and frontline workers had registered themselves for the vaccination — 111,547 in the public sector and 86,937 in the private sector. The number of frontline workers vaccinated so far is 55,458 across the province.

Leave a comment