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Sunday Mar 14 2021

Chinese vaccine Sinopharm safe for people above 60: Dr Nausheen Hamid


ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary Secretary of National Health Services Dr Nausheen Hamid on Sunday said that the government, on the recommendation of experts, had decided to inoculate people aged 60 or above with the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine due to data available from neighbour countries regarding its efficacy.

Talking to a private news channel, Dr Hamid said Pakistan has launched a nationwide coronavirus vaccination drive for the general public which was started with older people.

She said Pakistan was vaccinating its older age groups with the Sinopharm vaccine after approval by the technical expert committee.

The parliamentary secretary clarified that although initially the Sinopharm vaccine was not recommended for the elderly in Pakistan, after getting data from countries such as UAE and China, Pakistani experts also approved its efficiency and use for the elderly.

She said the remaining registered health workers from the first phase of the vaccination drive and the elderly should send a text message at 1166 or enter their details in the national immunisation management system (NIMS) website, adding, the eligible citizens will be informed about the vaccine centre and the date of vaccination through a text message.

She said government would give full coverage to both groups of the population in the second phase of coronavirus vaccination drive.

Replying to a query, she said that a proposal for the people who are directly dealing with the public, like teachers and police, to also be prioritised in the next vaccination drive was under consideration by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) which will hopefully approve it soon.

She also said unfortunately due to the non-serious behaviour of the public overall, the positivity ratio of coronavirus cases is rising.

To another query, she said: "We remain confident that we will meet our plan of large-scale immunisation over the coming months this year and the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX platform will also be available to Pakistan soon."