Provincial government says booster dose of Pfizer vaccine will be provided for free to all fully vaccinated people
The Sindh government on Sunday announced it is making it mandatory for fully vaccinated people to receive a booster dose of coronavirus vaccines in a bid to curb the spread of the Omicron variant, which has been designated a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization.
In a statement, the Sindh Health Department said that a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine would be administered to fully vaccinated individuals. It said this would be provided free-of-charge, adding that authorities were importing consignments of the vaccine to achieve this goal. Authorities clarified that while arrangements were already underway, it was too soon to announce a date for when this initiative would be launched.
According to local media, the booster jab would be offered to people who have been fully vaccinated with Sinopharm, Sinovac or Cansino. It said that the decision was motivated by a desire to prevent the spread of new variants of the virus.
Earlier, the federal government announced that it was banning entry to Pakistan from six southern African countries, as well as Hong Kong, “due to the threat” from the Omicron variant. According to a statement issued by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), direct or indirect travel from South Africa, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, and Eswatini had been banned “with immediate effect” following the discovery of the new variant.
Several states, including the European Union bloc and the U.S., have announced travel restrictions on southern Africa since the discovery of Omicron, despite the WHO stressing that it is not yet clear if it causes more severe disease and urging the world not to impose flight bans that risk hurting the global economy.