In statement, forum says free jabs will be of either Sinopharm, Sinovac, or Pfizer
Pakistanis 30-and-above will be able to get free booster shots of coronavirus vaccines from Jan. 1, 2022, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) announced on Monday.
According to a statement issued after a regular meeting of the forum overseeing the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, citizens would be able to avail the booster shots at vaccination centers nationwide. It said that all fully vaccinated individuals who had received their last shot six months prior to Jan. 1 would be eligible for the boosters.
The free-of-cost booster shots would be divided between Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Pfizer, read the statement. The NCOC is already allowing booster shots for all Pakistanis over 50; healthcare workers; and immunocompromised individuals.
The NCOC said that the decision to open up booster shots for people 30 and above was motivated by fears of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 that is currently sweeping through Europe and the U.S. “Omicron variant has been reported in 95 countries while 58,000 cases have been confirmed in Europe, which is the epicenter of the strain with U.K. and Denmark having the highest number of cases. A total of 149 confirmed cases of Omicron have been reported so far in India,” it said.
It reiterated that everyone should get fully vaccinated against the coronavirus as soon as possible, stressing that this was the best way to avoid adverse effects of the pandemic. Per the latest vaccine statistics, 61,084,339 Pakistanis have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. In addition, 88,492,869 individuals have received the first dose of their vaccine. Earlier this month, the NCOC announced that it would adopt a “zero tolerance” policy against unvaccinated people and directed all federating units to expedite their vaccination campaigns to ensure the maximum number of people were protected against the latest variant of concern.