Pakistan’s tardy vaccination drive and its reasons

Pakistan started the vaccination process more than a month ago and out of 220 million population, only 1 million are vaccinated. However, the drive has picked some pace as government pushes its information campaign

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On the 6th of April, Chief of National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), the body that is leading Pakistan’s fight against coronavirus, Asad Umer tweeted that Pakistan has crossed the 1 million mark in vaccinations.

He said, “more than 76 thousand vaccinations were carried out yesterday.” He also talked about the fact that the total number of people who have registered so far is now over 2 million.

According to him, more than 1.4 million people who are aged 50 and above have registered to get vaccinated.

The government initially made the vaccine available for people aged 60 and above. According to the NADRA records, the number of people who come under this age bracket is 13 million. However, only 800,000 people registered to get the vaccination.

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Even out of those who registered, 250,000 came to the vaccination centers to get the vaccination, meaning that only 1.9 percent of the people above 60 got vaccinated.

The government on 1st April extended the free Sinopharm vaccine to ages 50 and above, which is 17 million people, excluding the people aged more than 60.

According to Mr. Umer’s tweet, almost 1.4 million people have registered who are more than 50 years, meaning that more and more people are understanding the urgency and the need to get vaccinated.

According to his tweet, yesterday the number of people who got vaccinated was 76 thousand, and if that number stabilizes to above a hundred thousand people getting vaccinated daily, almost 4 million people can get vaccinated in a month.

This data shows that despite the facility of vaccine is available to the mass population, there is a general hesitance towards getting the vaccine. Thus, the government needs to raise awareness and convince people to get vaccinated for their own good, and the greater good of society.

Pakistan’s rate of vaccination of fewer than 0.3 people vaccinated per 100 members of the population is one of the lowest among countries where vaccination campaigns have been launched, according to official data and the Our World in Data dataset.

According to the NCOC, as of 6 April, the total Active COVID CASES in Pakistan are 63,102, with the deaths of 103 people were recorded.

The third wave can be said to be a push factor as well because after the first wave, Pakistan fared relatively better during the second wave and SOPs were being avoided at many public places.

According to a recent report by Bloomberg, considering all the resources the country has, it may take Pakistan 10 years to vaccinate 75 percent of its population.

Read More: 50,000 more corona vaccine available in Pakistan, imported by private sector

People in the country are concerned regarding the safety of vaccines with numerous rumors coming from different mediums, however, it is the government’s job to get ahead of such campaigns and get people to believe in the vaccination’s effectiveness and get vaccinated.

On the other hand, thousands of Pakistanis have rushed to get inoculated in the first round of commercial sales of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, that began over the weekend, with vaccination sites in Karachi saying they had already sold out.