The next phase in Pakistan’s response to the new coronavirus begins with excitement. At the Prime Minister’s office on Tuesday. In the presence of PM Imran Khan, an anesthetist and intensive medicine specialist, Prof. Rana Imran Sikander, became the first person in the country to be vaccinated against the disease.
The first batch of the Covid-19 vaccine, a total of half a million doses made by Sinopharm, arrived in Islamabad from Beijing on Monday. And the federal government sent some of it out of the province the following day. Provincial vaccinations started yesterday. The National Command and Operations Center deserves recognition for the smooth start of the massive campaign across the country. Judging from the detailed plan, a lot of effort is being made to ensure that vaccine supplies are in line with vaccination rates. Quoted in the report of SAPM for health yesterday. Dr. Faisal Sultan said he was not sure the supply side would cause problems.
“We are more concerned about the demand side,” he said. The fear is that out of the 70 million adults who need to be vaccinated for herd immunity. A significant number – up to 30 million – could resist or surrender for one reason or another, according to health experts.
This is one of the main problems in a situation where the authorities are at least partially blind. The new coronavirus has been around for over a year. Only recently have health professionals been able to treat severe cases of Covid-19 to some extent. While the long-term and sometimes devastating effects of the disease are still being observed and understood.
Effects of vaccination
The immune system response to vaccines remains the subject of some debate, despite extensive human research leading into the consent phase. It should be noted that health authorities in France and Sweden have approved the Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca but recommend that it is not given to anyone over the age of 65. This challenges the EU decision to allow vaccines for adults of all ages. Meanwhile, a large UK study confirmed that most people infected with the coronavirus have had antibodies in their blood for at least six months. So far, the agreement on the viral immune response is considered to be three months because of the minimum period during which new infection is highly unlikely.
Hope that the government schedule is realistic for the remaining vaccine. Meanwhile, the Pakistani public needs to be prepared for the potential side effects of vaccination. So that misinformation does not prevent people from registering. In addition, regular updates with disaggregated data on those vaccinated go a long way toward fighting the inevitable rumor that “elite” people are crossing the line. It is very important to have confidence in the transparency of the process.