Punjab government threatens to block non-vaccinated citizens’ sim cards

Punjab health authority has announced that citizens who refuse to get their covid vaccination jabs will have their mobile services blocked.

Initially reported by local media and later confirmed by the official Twitter account of the Punjab health authority, citizens who refuse to get their Covid vaccination jabs will have their mobile services blocked.

“Mobile SIMS of people not getting vaccinated may be blocked, it was decided in Cabinet meeting under the chair of Minister for Health Dr. Yasmin Rashid at Civil Secretariat. The government will open walk-in vaccination of over 18 years of age group.”

Moving through different age groups, the government has finally allowed any citizen above the age of 18 access to walk-in services in over 677 vaccination centers operating in Punjab.

Read More: Pakistan to spend Rs. 171 bln on COVID vaccine this year

The government has committed up to $1.1 billion to procure additional vaccine doses from various companies/countries. So far, over 10.5 million doses have been administered across Pakistan. The government hopes to increase that number up to 100 million by June 2022.

Recently Pakistan even started producing the single-dose Chinese CanSinoBio (6185.HK) COVID-19 vaccine to be able to deliver 3 million doses a month. Institute of Health (NIH) said that Branded PakVac would be developed at the production plant in Islamabad.

Read More: Pakistan produces COVID vaccine: PakVac

Pakistan’s investment in vaccine procurement is commendable, but the people have so far been hesitant to get the doses. However, this is nothing new for a country still struggling with getting its people vaccinated against polio.

For Pakistan to achieve the health standards set by the WHO, the country needs to get most, if not all, of the population, vaccinated. This will not only aid in cross-country travel but help resume tourism in the country.

Different countries have tried various methods to promote their respective vaccination drives. The US government teamed up with brewing company Anheuser-Busch to provide a complimentary beer to every citizen who got vaccinated, among other incentives.

Keeping in mind the stick and carrot analogy, the Punjab government has decided to go with the stick instead of the carrot, but whether or not it is the best way to move forward is still to be seen, especially considering even today, Polio vaccination workers lose their lives on the job.

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