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Pakistan’s Elderly Urged to Register for COVID-19 Vaccinations

by Newsweek Pakistan

Joe Raedle-Getty Images North America—AFP

Planning minister and SAPM on Health reiterate that government will start vaccinating citizens over 65 next month

Both Planning Minister Asad Umar and Special Assistant to the P.M. on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan on Monday urged all Pakistanis over 65 to register themselves for COVID-19 vaccinations, reiterating that the process would start in March.

“All Pakistanis above the age of 65 can start registration for COVID-19 vaccine starting today,” read a posting on Twitter by Dr. Sultan. “Send an SMS from any mobile phone with your CNIC to 1166 or visit nims.nadra.gov.pk to get registered,” he said, adding that the designated vaccination center and date of appointment would be conveyed to each registered individual once the vaccine had arrived in Pakistan.

Similarly, minister Umar, who also heads the National Command and Operation Center, said on Twitter that the registration for vaccinations of all citizens 65-and-above had commenced. “Just write down your CNIC number and send message on 1166,” he said. “Inshallah vaccinations for this age group will start in March,” he added.

Pakistan launched its nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign earlier this month, with frontline healthcare workers being covered in the first phase. The government has already announced that the second phase would focus on the elderly and all remaining healthcare workers, while the general public would be accommodated in the third phase.

Provincial governments have designated 189 healthcare facilities in Punjab, 14 in Sindh, 280 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 44 in Balochistan, 14 in Islamabad, 25 in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and 16 in Gilgit-Baltistan to administer vaccines to the adult population.

Thus far, the country has received 500,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, with an expectation for 1.1 million more by the end of this month. The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) had approved four COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use—Russia’s Sputnik-V, China’s Sinopharm and CanSinoBio, and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

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