Even though Pakistan’s government is yet to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, Sindh’s health authorities have already set up 14 vaccination centres in the province, including nine in Karachi Division, The News has learnt.
Of the nine vaccination centres established in the city, two each have been set up in the South, East and Central districts, and one each in the Korangi, Malir and West districts. By the start of next month Pakistan is expected to receive the first consignment of the Covid-19 vaccine from the Chinese company Sinopharm, which has been approached by the governments of both Pakistan and Sindh.
In the initial phase, the health authorities plan to vaccinate only the frontline healthcare and other workers, including those serving at the Covid-19 treatment facilities. The other districts of Sindh where the vaccination centres have been established are Sukkur, Larkana, Hyderabad, Shaheed Benazirabad and Mirpurkhas, an official of the health department told The News on Tuesday.
The official said that in Karachi’s District South, one vaccination centre has been set up at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and another at the Khaliq Dina Hall. In District East, one vaccination centre has been established at the Ojha Campus of the Dow University of Health Sciences and another at the Aga Khan University Hospital, added the official.
The official said that in District Central, one vaccination centre has been set up at the Sindh Government Hospital Liaquatabad and another at the Sindh Government Hospital New Karachi.
In District Korangi, the vaccination centre has been established at the Sindh Government Hospital Korangi No. 5, in District Malir, at the Urban Health Centre in Thado Nalo, and in District West, at the Sindh Government Qatar Hospital, added the official.
The official said that Sindh’s other vaccination centres have been set up at the Liaquat University Hospital in Hyderabad, the HIS Hospital in Sukkur’s Labour Colony, the Chandka Medical College Hospital in Larkana, the MCH Society in Nawabshah and the District Hospital Mirpurkhas.
The official also said that these vaccination centres have been provided with all the necessary equipment and appliances, including refrigerators, while the training of the staff members to be deployed at these facilities is currently under way.
Personal protection equipment will be provided to the staff of these centres who are being trained to deal with the influx of the people to be vaccinated against Covid-19, while they are also being trained in handling and administering the vaccine, added the official.
Health Secretary Kazim Jatoi visited some of the vaccination centres in Karachi on Tuesday to review the arrangements made at the facilities. He directed the officials concerned to ensure easy access for the elderly and those with disabilities.
He said that frontline workers, including doctors, nurses and paramedics, will be administered the vaccine initially, while in the second stage, people over the age of 60 and those with serious chronic comorbidities will be vaccinated against Covid-19.
“We need to facilitate the people who are old, those who are disabled and have serious complications. These vaccination centres should function in a manner to prevent people from contracting the disease.”