Govt alters strategy to administer Pfizer vaccine

Islamabad: The government has decided not to administer the Pfizer vaccine to people going abroad either for study, work, and on pilgrimage.

While the vaccine would only be administered to people with chronic diseases and low immunity.

According to details, the government's strategy for using the Pfizer corona vaccine has been changed.

Officials at the Federal Ministry of Health say that under the COVAX agreement the Pfizer vaccine can only be given to those with low immunity and will not be given to those going abroad for work, education and Hajj.

Officials say that the decision was made in light of an agreement under COVAX.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Health said that Pakistan was bound to abide by the COVAX Agreement.

The use of the Pfizer vaccine will start this week.

Sources said that the decision to change the vaccine strategy has been taken in consultation.

The Ministry of Health said that the Pfizer Corona vaccine will be administered in 15 specific cities and will be available at specific vaccination centres in these cities.

According to sources, special training of vaccinators has been completed for administering Pfizer shots.

Earlier, The National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) Tuesday formally issued guidelines for administering the anti-COVID Pfizer vaccine in Pakistan.

According to guidelines issued by the NCOC, the Pfizer vaccine can be given to people aged 18 years and older, while pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are also allowed to be vaccinated.

The vaccine guidelines say that people with fever and with severe allergies should not be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine.

Due to the limited supply of Pfizer vaccine in Pakistan, it has been allocated for foreign travellers while preference will be given to students going abroad for employment or study, including Hajj and Umrah pilgrims.

Referring to the Pfizer vaccine, Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umer had said that the Pfizer vaccine is very low in number but it is being given mainly to pilgrims, those working or studying abroad.

According to the NCOC guidelines, Pfizer should also be administered to high-risk COVID patients, while patients with liver disease and chronic hepatitis may also receive Pfizer.

The second dose will be given 21 days after the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

The NCOC has instructed that the Pfizer vaccine should be protected from direct light while the jab should be kept at -60 to minus -80c.

The vaccine can also be kept at minus 25 degrees to minus 15 degrees celsius for two weeks. In addition, the shot can be kept in a normal refrigerator from  2c to 8c for a month.

 Pfizer is the sixth vaccine to be approved in Pakistan.

Earlier, the Drug Regulatory Authority authorized the emergency use of Chinese-made Sinopharm, SinoVac, CanSino, and AstraZeneca and Russia's Sputnik V.

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