Notification comes two months after vaccine was first approved in the country
Islamabad: The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has issued a notification authorizing the use of the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine Sinopharm for people over 60 years of age. The measure has been taken two months after the vaccine was first approved for use in the country.
A spokesperson of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) confirmed the authorization for the said age group saying all healthcare workers registered with National Immunisation Management System (NIMS ) above 60 years could now get themselves vaccinated from designated vaccine centers.
Earlier, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health (SAPM) Dr Faisal Sultan had cautioned that the Sinopharm shot was not recommended for people older than 60 years. However, later he himself dismissed the notion and got himself inoculated with the same vaccine. According to the health authorities senior citizens other than health workers would also start receiving jabs soon.
Cases go up
Pakistan has witnessed a sudden increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and according to the National Command and Ope¬ration Centre (NCOC) the number of COVID-19 cases has gone up by around 30 per cent in the country.
Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), a representative body of health professionals, has also urged the government to immediately re-impose the restrictions to avoid a third wave of the virus.
The NCOC had on Feb 24 relaxed most of the coronavirus-related restrictions on commercial activities, schools, offices and other workplaces, allowing them to function at full strength.
Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Rana Tanveer has urged the President, the Prime Minister and Members of the Parliament to set a noble example and be a role model for the public by getting vaccinated.
He gave these remarks while attending a briefing by the Secretary of the Ministry of the National Health Service. PAC chairman said there were misgivings among the public about the side effects of the vaccine and in this situation the rulers must lead by example and get vaccine shots to encourage the people to come forward and do the same.
In the briefing it was told that out of 220 million population of Pakistan, 100 million were eligible for vaccination. Secretary Ministry of Health further briefed the committee that vaccines could not be administered to under-18 year old persons.
Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister’s Focal Person for COVID-19 and Member of the Provincial Assembly Dr Asiya Asad has tested positive and isolated herself at home.
In a tweet Dr Asad shared the news and requested the people for prayers.
Two days earlier, Dr Asad had cast her vote in Wednesday’s Senate polls along with other members of the provincial assembly.
KP on Friday recorded another death of a doctor raising alarm among the medical professionals’ community as 47 doctors have died so far in the fight against coronavirus.
According to the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter a senior medical officer of Haripur District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) Dr Saghir Ahmed is the latest casualty of COVID-19.
Pakistan on Friday recorded 52 deaths and 1,579 cases of COVID-19 in a period of twenty-four hours. With these latest figures, the country’s total death number has surged 13,128 and tally of cases 587,014.
According to the health ministry’s official portal, there are 1,551 critical cases and 13,128 active cases in the country. The official data also reveals 1,527 recoveries in one-day time thus taking the overall recoveries to 556,769.