The federal government on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, (today) started the first phase of a “massive” two-week-long door-to-door vaccination campaign countrywide to inoculate more than 35 million people as part of the country’s efforts to get ‘rid of the virus’ and return to normalcy.
“As many as 55,000 mobile teams will take part in this campaign that will be conducted across the country. We have trained them and arranged vaccines for them,” National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) head Asad Umar said during a press conference, he was addressing with Special Assistant to the PM on Health Faisal Sultan, in Islamabad.
The NCOC head exhorted people to get vaccinated “immediately” and called for those who have either not been vaccinated at all or received their last shot six months ago to opt for the booster vaccine.
Sharing vaccination data, Umar said that more than 80 million people had been fully vaccinated so far, while around 100 million individuals had been administered at least one dose of vaccine.
He urged people to avail this free home service, adding that the public should spread awareness about vaccines among their peers, to further curb the spread of the virus. Moreover, he also requested people to fully cooperate with vaccination teams that are a part of the campaign to ensure the long term safety of Pakistan.
“Throughout the spread of Omicron, it was clearly observed that cities and areas remained safe or were not as strongly affected by the pandemic, where the percentage of vaccinated people was higher than in those places where the vaccination ratio was less,” Umar said.
He was of the view that most vaccinated people, who got infected with the virus after the booster shot, had milder symptoms than those whor were not vaccinated.
Elaborating on the Covid situation, SAPM Faisal Sultan said, “Vaccinations are the only way to get rid of the coronavirus and return to a normal life.”
He also appealed to citizens to support the mobile teams as the Covid-19 vaccine was very effective to protect them from medical complications from virus variants.
Sultan said that with the start of the countrywide drive many citizens who could not get the vaccine earlier would have now the opportunity to protect themselves from several medical complications in case they come in contact with the virus.
“Only the vaccine can protect you from all related medical complications. I strongly advise the country's people to go for vaccination against the virus to avoid facing more complications and hospitalisation.”
He recommended citizens also opt for the booster shot, especially if six months have passed since their second dose. He added these booster shots were also being provided by the government free of cost just like the other two normal vaccine doses in the country.
Sultan urged the masses to get the maximum benefit of the government’s initiative, which would not only protect them against the new Omicron variant but ensure free that you do not come in contact with other people or leave the house, greatly reducing the risk of contracting the virus.
Vaccination against Covid-19 has continued through the last year but the government has been facing Covid related challenges for the past two years, Sultan said, while adding that the authority was making “sincere efforts” to ensure the availability of jabs at all vaccination centres.
He stressed the need for following Covid protocols in offices and markets, saying, “We can save precious lives including those of our near and dear ones by taking preventive measures. Wear a mask, maintain social distance, wash hands with soap frequently and avoid crowded places.”
Reacting to the federal government’s initiative, health ministers of all the provinces urged the public to get vaccinated, especially since everyone over the age of 12 is now eligible for the dose.
According to the video shared by NCOC head Umar, the campaign would also be conducted in remote areas of the country.
(With input from APP)