Friday Aug 06 2021

Pakistan opens coronavirus vaccines to 16-18 year-olds who need to travel

File photo
File photo

  • Children between 16-18 eligible for a jab if they have to travel overseas for education or other purposes, says Dr Faisal Sultan.
  • Those aged below 18 to follow same process of registering via SMS on 1166.
  • Pakistan has vaccinated only 10.3 % of its population to date.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has expanded its coronavirus vaccinations to those under 18 years of age who have to travel out of the country, said the prime minister’s special assistant on health.

Dr Faisal Sultan, the special assistant on health and the senior-most health official in the country, told that children between the ages of 16 to 18 years are eligible to get a jab, if they have to go overseas for education or other reasons.

Children under 18 will have to follow the same process of registering via an SMS on the government helpline 1166, and wait for information about a health center.

Pakistan has, to date, fully immunized 7,239,268 people, which is 10.3 % of its target of vaccinating 70 million of the adult population.

The country's vaccination program, which kicked off in February, is otherwise open to all citizens over the age of 18 years.

While earlier there were reports of a slow response from people willing to be administered the jab, the campaign has recently picked up. On August 3, Dr Sultan tweeted that the vaccine drive is now eight times faster than what it was when the first 10 million doses were administered in the country.

Pakistan is ranked 31 globally in terms of countries impacted by the coronavirus, as per the Johns Hopkins tally and has to date 1,058,405 infections and 23,702 deaths.