Vaccine Delivery to Sindh Faces Delay

The Sindh government faces delay in receiving the Covid-19 vaccines from the federal government, earlier planned to be handed over by January 15.

Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho in a statement on Tuesday, January 5 revealed that the provincial government is expecting a delay in the delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine. She stated: “The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) had earlier communicated that the vaccines would be delivered by mid-Jan. But, we have just been informed that there would be some delay in this process.”

Regardless of the delay, the government is working in full swing to set up an exhaustive system at the divisionary level to manage the upcoming challenges orderly. The plan includes identification of the human resource required for running the comprehensive system, a compilation of data pertaining to the vaccines’ stocks and vaccine recipients, dissemination of information to vaccine recipients and proper disposal of medical waste.

“This would be further extended to smaller centres in districts once the system becomes operational. The department is setting up adult vaccination centres at the divisional level, especially in Karachi and Hyderabad, and preparing lists of frontline healthcare providers involved in the care of Covid-19 patients, who would be the first to receive the vaccine. The general population would get the free-of-cost vaccines in the second stage, depending upon their availability.”

“We are taking guidance from the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination and it’s expected that a similar system would develop across the country,” the health minister stated.

Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho expressed hope of a large population getting the vaccine against Covid-19 by the end of 2021 which would be a key success against the pandemic.

Provincial Vaccine Administration Coordination Cell (PVACC) got a commitment from the National Vaccine Task Force and NCOC for the supply of 250,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine by January 15 with each recipient getting two doses with a gap of 21 days.

The department, headed by secretary health Dr Kazim Hussain Jatoi decided to set up 50 cubicles at the Expo Centre where 5,000 individuals would be vaccinated in a single day.

Other members of the department include MPA/parliamentary secretary Muhammad Qasim Soomro, Director General Health Dr Irshad Ahmed, programme director EPI Dr Akram Sultan, Dr Mazahir Ali, Raza Muhammad Shar, both section officers at the health department, Sindh IT head Faizan Gul Sheikh and provincial technical focal person at the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) on Polio Dr Ahmed Ali Sheikh.

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