Pakistan starts registration of citizens over age of 65 for COVID-19 vaccination

Asad Umar says those want to register themselves can send their CNIC number to 1166

Web Desk

  • Asad Umar says citizens over age of 65 can register by messaging 1166
  • The federal minister says the vaccination for this age group will begin in March
  • Punjab health minister says people in the age bracket will be vaccinated from the vaccines received under COVAX

ISLAMABAD: Head of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Asad Umar announced on Monday that the government will start vaccinating citizens over the age of 65 for coronavirus in March for which the registration process has started from today. 

"Pleased to announce that registration for getting COVID vaccine is now open for all citizens 65 and above," said the minister who is in charge of spearheading the country's fight against coronavirus. 

The minister said that those interested in getting themselves vaccinated can write down their CNIC number and send a message on 1166. 

"Inshallah vaccinations for this age group will start in March," said Umar.

COVAX tranche to be used for vaccinating over 65: Yasmin Rashid

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, told DAWN TV on Sunday, that the country will use the tranche of vaccine doses it gets via the global COVAX platform to vaccinate citizens over the age of 65.

She said that vaccine will arrive in beginning of March.

“Those [doses] will be used for the common people above the age of 65 years,” she said.

The minister also shared that once Pakistan vaccinates people over the age of 65 it will expand the campaign to citizens over the age of 60. 

Taimur Jhagra lauds NCOC, Faisal Sultan, Asad Umar 

Separately, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Minister Taimur Jhagra lauded the NCOC, SAPM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan and NCOC head Asad Umar for their "tremendous job". 

"The NCOC, @Asad_Umar & @fslsltn have done a tremendous job of ensuring a smooth vaccine roll out across Pakistan," tweeted Jhagra. 

The minister believes that Pakistan's vaccination campaign will "roll out" in full swing in the next few months as the private sector will also start administering the drug.

Earlier this month, Pakistan had started its countrywide vaccination drive with the frontline healthcare workers being the first one to get the important drug.

Read more: Pakistan to receive 17 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine before April, says British High Commission

The country initiated its vaccination campaign after receiving 0.5 million doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine from China. The doses were later distributed across all the provinces through land and air.

Pakistan has approved four COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use including two from China and one each from UK and Russia.

Pakistan’s vaccine strategy

The authorities have established Adult Vaccine Administration across the country and an inoculation process is in place supported by the digital mechanism.

Read more: No side effects of COVID-19 vaccine, Pakistani frontline health workers say

For adult vaccine administration of the first tranche, there have been 189 designated health care facilities in Punjab, 14 in Sindh, 280 in KP, 44 in Balochistan, 14 in ICT, 25 in AJK and 16 in GB for the complete vaccine administration process.

The NCOC is acting as the nerve centre while designated core centres have been established at the provincial / district and Tehsil level.

The entire process is managed through a digital National immunisation management system ( NIMS) with minimum human intervention.