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Pfizer booster jabs are limited in Sindh

Doesn’t have enough vaccine stocks

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 30, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Nov 30, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

Photo—AFP/File

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Booster jabs of the Pfizer vaccine are available at all vaccine centers and hospitals across Karachi. However, only a limited number of people will be able to receive the additional jabs free of cost, Sindh’s health department has said. The booster shot will cost Rs1,270. People will have to pay a challan at National Bank of Pakistan. Sindh needs two to three million doses of vaccines to give booster jabs free of cost, but it did not have enough, said Azra Pechuho, the health minister of Sindh. Only front-line workers and people above 65 years of age will get the booster first without any charges. “Now the federal government should improve surveillance at all entry points and start rapid antigen test for passengers,” she said. She highlighted that so far there is no evidence of a new variant in Pakistan, however, people should get the booster jabs as soon as possible to boost their immune systems. 'Vaccination is the only defence' The NCOC chief Asad Umar has said that restrictions can only delay the arrival of this new variant, they can’t stop it. The only defence we have is vaccination, he said. “In the next few days, a robust vaccination campaign will start in all four provinces. We only have two to three weeks [before the variant arrives] to vaccinate as many people as possible.” The NCOC is thinking of starting a booster-shot programme for people most susceptible to coronavirus. Details will be announced by tomorrow. Dr Faisal Sultan said that even in European countries, unvaccinated people are being affected the most. “The research into the genetic makeup of this variant has revealed mutations which have the potential to make it 'deadly' and 'highly contagious,’" said Dr Sultan. The new variant The World Health Organization warned Monday the new Covid-19 Omicron variant poses a “very high” risk globally, despite uncertainties about the danger and contagion levels of the new strain. The UN health agency said the Covid strain first discovered in southern Africa was a “highly divergent variant with a high number of mutations… some of which are concerning and may be associated with immune escape potential and higher transmissibility.” “The likelihood of potential further spread of Omicron at the global level is high,” WHO cautioned in a technical note. To date, no deaths connected with the Omicron variant have been reported, it added. But even if the new variant does not prove more dangerous or deadly than previous ones, if it spreads more easily it will spark more cases and more pressure on health systems, and thus more deaths, the organisation said. A growing list of countries have already imposed travel restrictions on southern Africa, including Britain, Indonesia, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
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Booster jabs of the Pfizer vaccine are available at all vaccine centers and hospitals across Karachi. However, only a limited number of people will be able to receive the additional jabs free of cost, Sindh’s health department has said.

The booster shot will cost Rs1,270. People will have to pay a challan at National Bank of Pakistan.

Sindh needs two to three million doses of vaccines to give booster jabs free of cost, but it did not have enough, said Azra
Pechuho, the health minister of Sindh.

Only front-line workers and people above 65 years of age will get the booster first without any charges.

“Now the federal government should improve surveillance at all entry points and start rapid antigen test for passengers,” she
said.

She highlighted that so far there is no evidence of a new variant in Pakistan, however, people should get the booster
jabs as soon as possible to boost their immune systems.

‘Vaccination is the only defence’

The NCOC chief Asad Umar has said that restrictions can only delay the arrival of this new variant, they can’t stop it.

The only defence we have is vaccination, he said.

“In the next few days, a robust vaccination campaign will start in all four provinces. We only have two to three weeks [before the variant arrives] to vaccinate as many people as possible.”

The NCOC is thinking of starting a booster-shot programme for people most susceptible to coronavirus. Details will be announced by tomorrow.

Dr Faisal Sultan said that even in European countries, unvaccinated people are being affected the most.

“The research into the genetic makeup of this variant has revealed mutations which have the potential to make it ‘deadly’ and ‘highly contagious,’” said Dr Sultan.

The new variant

The World Health Organization warned Monday the new Covid-19 Omicron variant poses a “very high” risk globally, despite uncertainties about the danger and contagion levels of the new strain.

The UN health agency said the Covid strain first discovered in southern Africa was a “highly divergent variant with a high number of mutations… some of which are concerning and may be associated with immune escape potential and higher transmissibility.”

“The likelihood of potential further spread of Omicron at the global level is high,” WHO cautioned in a technical note.

To date, no deaths connected with the Omicron variant have been reported, it added.

But even if the new variant does not prove more dangerous or deadly than previous ones, if it spreads more easily it will spark more cases and more pressure on health systems, and thus more deaths, the organisation said.

A growing list of countries have already imposed travel restrictions on southern Africa, including Britain, Indonesia, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

 
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