KARACHI: The health department recently notified the Provincial Vaccine Administration Coordination Cell (PVACC) after getting a commitment from the National Vaccine Task Force and the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC) for supply of the Covid-19 vaccine by Jan 15.
Chairing a meeting on the subject, Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho stated that the NCOC and the National Vaccine Task Force had committed to supply the province with 250,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses by mid-January; each recipient would get two doses with a gap of 21 days.
In the first phase, she informed officials, healthcare providers performing duties in the Covid wards and other front-line workers engaged in handling coronavirus patients would be administered the vaccine.
Staffers working in Covid wards, other front-line personnel to get a jab in the first phase
The health minister instructed the staff to prepare data on the staff working in the public and a private healthcare system that would also be included in the first phase of vaccine administration.
The second phase would include people above 60 years of age and those with comorbid conditions.
The people, who would be marked to receive the vaccine, would get prior information about vaccine administration through a phone call and later receive a vaccination card.
It was also decided in the meeting that 50 cubicles would be set up at the Expo Centre and 5,000 individuals would be vaccinated in a single day.
Facilities for vaccine administration would be provided at tertiary care hospitals in the interior areas of Sindh.
According to a health department notification, the Provincial Vaccine Administration Cell would be headed by secretary health Dr Kazim Hussain Jatoi while its members include MPA/parliamentary secretary Muhammad Qasim Soomro, director general health Dr Irshad Ahmed, programme director EPI Dr Akram Sultan, Dr Mazahir Ali, Raza Muhammad Shar, both section officers at the health department, Sindh IT head Faizan Gul Sheikh and provincial technical focal person at the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) on Polio Dr Ahmed Ali Sheikh.
Fayyaz Hussain Abbasi, the coordinator at the EOC and additional secretary PH Dr Manzoor Ali Wassan would act as its focal person and deputy focal person, respectively.
It may be recalled that a special (federal) cabinet committee has recently decided to pre-book 1.1 million doses of vaccine from a Chinese state-owned company, Sinopharm.
The decision, which was made on the day when Sinopharm announced that its Covid-19 vaccine was 79.34 per cent effective, is contingent upon emergency use approval by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP).
Once approved and procured, the government will provide free-of-cost Covid-19 vaccine to all front-line health workers in the first quarter of 2021.