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Here’s how Karachiites can get the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine

Only travellers and immunocompromised people are eligible

SAMAA | - Posted: Jun 25, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
Posted: Jun 25, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago

Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines taken out of cold storage. Photo: AFP

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is available in Karachi for those who need it for travel purposes and people with compromised immune systems. 

“The Civil hospital, Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, Jinnah hospital, and Dow hospital have the supply for Pfizer and if someone matches the guidelines they can get it administered from there,” said spokesperson for the Sindh health department Mehar Khursheed.

According to the Ministry of National Health Services, travellers need to be above 18 years and require the Pfizer vaccine for travel documentation. 

Anyone who wants to receive the Pfizer shot needs to make sure they did not get any other COVID-19 vaccine earlier.

They need to be employed overseas with a valid work visa in a country where the Chinese vaccines (Sinopharm, Sinovac and Cansino) are not accepted. They also need to start travel before July 26. 

At the vaccination centre, they will need to provide their visa, passport and other travel documents, said the health department.

The Sindh government has also signed an agreement with Gerry’s Visa services for COVID-19 vaccinations for students, businesspeople, and people traveling for religious reasons.

They will streamline the Covid-19 vaccine process at select Gerry’s Visa branches. The MoU will come into effect from June 28.

The vaccination centres will run from 8am to 10pm throughout the week. An AIEF (emergency room for any potential side effects) will also be set up and Aman Foundation has agreed to provide an ambulance to the site within seven minutes of a call.

People with weak immune systems can get the Pfizer shot if they have any of the following:

  • Chronic respiratory disease: any severe lung condition, asthma that requires steroids, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, or bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung fibrosis, pneumoconiosis and bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Chronic heart disease: congenital heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure) with cardiac complications, heart failure, ischemic heart disease including atrial fibrillation, peripheral vascular disease or a history of venous thromboembolism (clotting)
  • Chronic kidney disease at stage 3, 4 or 5, chronic kidney failure, nephrotic syndrome
  • Chronic liver disease: cirrhosis, biliary atresia, chronic hepatitis
  • Chronic neurological disease: stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), conditions in which respiratory function may be compromised due to neurological disease (polio, cerebral palsy, severe or profound learning disabilities, Down’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, motor neuron disease) or any degenerative disease of the nervous system or muscles
  • Organ transplants: Before transplant–complete vaccine course at least two weeks earlier. Post-transplant–vaccination one month after
  • Haematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
  • Primary immune deficiency diseases (PIDDS)
  • Immunosuppression: chemotherapy, radical radiotherapy, HIV infection and multiple myeloma
  • Immune-modulating therapy: anti-TNF, alemtuzumab, ofatumumab, rituximab, patients receiving protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors, and steroid sparing agents such as cyclophosphamide and mycophenolate mofetil
  • Those treated with systemic steroids for more than a month at a dose equal to prednisolone 20mg or more per day
  • History of blood malignancy: leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma
  • Those with systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis who may require long term immunosuppressive treatments
  • Spleen problems: homozygous sickle cell disease, thalassemia major and celiac syndrome

Women who are pregnant and lactating falling under any of these categories can receive the Pfizer vaccine.

In Sindh, 36 doses have been administered and 11,964 doses are still available.

Additional doses of Pfizer are expected to reach Pakistan by the end of July.

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