Small proportion of total cases had COVID-19 reinfection: SAPM
More than 140,000 health workers in Pakistan have received the Chinese-made Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine without any severe reactions reported, said Dr Faisal Sultan, the special assistant to the prime minister on health on Friday.
There are close to 400,000 health professionals in the country and I would urge them to get the vaccine, said Dr Sultan on SAMAA TV’s show Naya Din.
Only minimal side effects have been reported, he said, adding that any serious reactions will be investigated immediately.
On the issue of vaccine refusals the PM’s aide said he agreed with Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho about taking disciplinary action against health workers who refuse to get the vaccine.
They put not only themselves, but also their patients at risk.
However, no one from the general public will be forced to get the vaccine, he said, agreeing with what Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid had mentioned earlier.
“We will try our best to make sure 40,000 to 50,000 people are immunised by the end of this year,” said Dr Sultan, promising that there will not be a deficit of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
Pakistan has sufficient vaccine doses and won’t be buying any for the next four to six weeks, he stated.
There have been a few instances of people getting COVID-19 for a second and third time, Dr Sultan said.
He was replying to the claim made by University of Health Sciences Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Akram about treating dozens of people who got COVID-19 thrice.
The number wasn’t alarming, he said. He gave an estimate of close to a hundred cases of reinfection in the tens of thousands affected.
“The reason behind this is that the first time the person developed the infection they did not develop sufficient immunity.”
Information about COVID-19 and its vaccines is still evolving so we cannot make any predictions about vaccine efficacy, he said.
But as more people get vaccinated, immunity will develop at the community level, paving the way for the virus to die down.
Worldwide, around 60 cases of reinfection have been recorded, according to international news agency BNO News. The site, however, does not include reinfection cases from Pakistan.