Planning minister says NCOC has decided to open pre-registration for the entire eligible population of Pakistan
The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Wednesday decided to commence registration for COVID-19 vaccinations of all Pakistanis aged 19-and-up starting from tomorrow (May 27).
Planning Minister Asad Umar, who also heads the NCOC, said the decision had been taken during a daily meeting of the forum. “In today’s NCOC meeting we decided to open up vaccination registration for all 19 years and above,” he said in a posting on Twitter. “This registration will start from tomorrow. So now registration will be open for the entire national population which is approved by health experts for COVID vaccination,” he added.
Pakistan launched its vaccination drive in February, prioritizing frontline healthcare workers in the first phase. The program was expanded to include the elderly in March, people over 50 in April, and people over 30 in May. Thus far, according to the NCOC, 5,843,059 doses of various vaccines have been administered nationwide, with roughly 1.3 million people fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Special Assistant to the P.M. on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan had earlier announced that the government aims to vaccinate 70 million people by the end of this year—believed to be sufficient to achieve partial “herd immunity.” He had also confirmed that the country’s vaccination drive would only cover 110 million people in total, as the rest of the population was aged below 18 and was not yet approved for vaccinations by global health authorities.
On Wednesday, Pakistan reported 2,724 new cases of COVID-19 after conducting 59,076 tests for a positivity ratio of 4.6 percent. The NCOC has started to ease restrictions imposed earlier this month amidst a surge of new infections, though the Sindh government is retaining strict protocols for two more weeks in light of the virus surging there following the Eidul Fitr break.