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People's Daily Online

Pakistan administers Chinese COVID-19 vaccines to health workers

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 10:19, February 04, 2021

ISLAMABAD, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan formally started the drive to administer the China-donated Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines to its frontline healthcare workers on Wednesday, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) said.

The drive was launched simultaneously in all four provinces, federating units and the capital in the ceremonies attended by chief ministers, senior ministers and health officials, the NCOC said.

The drive, National COVID Immunization Program, was formally launched by administration of the vaccine to frontline healthcare workers representing major hospitals or health offices which actively participated in the country's fight against the coronavirus.

Speaking at the ceremony held at the NCOC head office, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar thanked the government of China for supporting Pakistan during the crisis of COVID-19.

He added that the frontline healthcare workers made a lot of sacrifices while handling the infected people, and provided meritorious services for serving the nation during the pandemic.

He said the Pakistani government will make sure to inoculate the frontline healthcare workers to make their working safe.

In the capital, the vaccine was administered to a head nurse of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences isolation unit Rizwana Yasmin, and molecular technologist at Shifa International Hospital Islamabad Fahad Mahmood, the NCOC said.

A member of COVID-19 surveillance team at the District Health Office Islamabad, Javed Iqbal, who diagnosed over 10,000 positive cases in Islamabad by contact tracing and sampling with his team, also received the COVID-19 vaccine at the NCOC.

In Sindh province, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, speaking at the vaccine administering ceremony, thanked the people and government of China for their support to Pakistan at the moment of need.

Chief Ministers of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab also attended the ceremonies in their respective provinces and expressed gratitude to the Chinese government for enabling immunizing the local people.

The first batch of 500,000 Sinopharm vaccines reached Pakistan early Monday from Beijing on a special Pakistan Air Force plane.

Pakistan has so far confirmed over 549,000 cases, while 11,802 people have lost their lives to the disease since the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, according to the latest government data.

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