Following a cabinet committee decision to pre-book over one million doses of the coronavirus vaccine from Chinese state company, Sinopharm, a special session of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) was told on Thursday that vaccine administration cells would be established in all district and tehsil headquarter hospitals, as well as regional health centres, to ensure that immunisation was carried out at grassroots level.
The session, organised to discuss the national vaccine strategy, was further informed that master trainers would be imparted knowledge about the inoculation process who in turn would train healthcare workers on administering the vaccine. The training sessions for master trainers will be held in all provinces and the in the federal capital.
NCOC Director General Operations and Planning Maj Gen Asif Mehmood Goraya assured the participants of the meeting that all-out efforts would be made to facilitate federating units in carrying out smooth vaccination.
Who will be vaccinated first
- Stage1: Frontline health workers
- Stage 2: Those above the age of 65
- Stage 3: Other healthcare workers; those between the age of 60-64
As stated earlier by the NCOC, only frontline health workers would be inoculated in the initial phases of vaccination, and the vaccine would be administered to people above the age of 65 in the second phase, as both the groups were at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus. During the third phase, health workers and individuals between the ages of 60 and 64 years will be vaccinated.
Moreover, the forum was told that the NCOC, in collaboration with the Ministry of National Health Services, National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), and National Information Technology Board (NITB), had developed the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS) — an online portal that would serve as the “brain” of the vaccination process.
The cabinet committee that took the decision to pre-book doses of the coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday had also elaborated on the NIMS, stating: “NIMS [will] ensure efficient supply chain management and administration of Covid-19 vaccine. The system will enable automated phase-wise registration of citizens for vaccine through SMS/ internet, based on CNIC numbers. Immunisation mechanism will be intimated to citizens shortly. NIMS will be made available by mid of January.”
Besides, NCOC National Coordinator Lt Gen Hamood Uz Zaman Khan briefed the session on national vaccine strategy, in line with decisions taken by the NCOC.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Division Khusroo Bakhtiyar, SAPM on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar, Chairperson National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lieutenant General Akhtar Nawaz Satti, Surgeon General Pakistan Army Lieutenant General Nigar Johar and Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Major General Nauman Zakria attended the session.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood joined the session via video link.
A special cabinet committee had decided to pre-book doses of vaccine from a Chinese state-owned company ‘Sinopharm’ on Wednesday when the latter announced that its Covid-19 vaccine was 79.3 per cent effective and as the death toll from Covid-19 surpassed the 10,000 mark in Pakistan.
The decision, however, is contingent upon emergency use approval by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap).