Vaccinations are well underway in most countries. The only way to deal with viral infections, vaccination which is a vital, albeit tedious process. Notwithstanding the big challenge of making the vaccine, as Pakistan did not undertake this exercise, to begin with, there is also the big task of administering it.
What are the challenges of getting a Corona vaccination in Pakistan?
The task starts off by sorting the logistics; a certain temperature has to be maintained so that the vaccine remains effective and hence, their import is no mean feat.
Then, the distribution of the vaccines presents a big challenge. There is a lot of red tapes involved alongside the logistical constraints. Navigating the different terrains of the country and yet maintaining the integrity of the vaccine is not an easy job.
Another issue for vaccination in Pakistan is convincing people to register themselves. With conspiracy theories running amok, many people were hesitant. Although things are getting better as more and more people are getting the shots, skeptics will still posit as a problem to the immunity of the nation.
What is the role of the National Command and Operation Center – NCOC?
Despite the challenges of Vaccination in Pakistan, NCOC has done a commendable job streamlining the process. Unlike India, where different provinces issued different policies, hampering progress, Pakistan had set up NCOC, a central and unitary command center that makes decisions about COVID-19 protocols.
This has helped to facilitate the process of vaccination in Pakistan greatly, which is why, to date, more than 1.2 million people have been fully vaccinated and more than 2.8 million people are partially vaccinated.
NCOC has issued helpful information with regards to different aspects of vaccinations. People, therefore, have to endure minimal inconvenience for getting vaccinated.
Initially, some private companies were allowed to disburse the vaccine. However, now, as per the updated vaccine policy, only the government can dispense vaccines through the authorized Adult Vaccination Centers.
Age-based distribution of Corona vaccine in Pakistan:
Vaccination in Pakistan is a tiered process. Initially, it was open just for senior citizens. Now, however, more age groups are being added to the pool of vaccinated citizens.
People now who are aged 40 and above are simply to register themselves with 1166. They can then walk to their closest vaccination center, verify their code at the counter and get their shots.
Vaccination appointments for people aged 30-39 are currently being scheduled. This subset of people has to follow the above steps to register themselves; they do not have walk-in vaccination convenience available at the moment.
Health care workers:
Health care workers are being vaccinated as well. They have to register themselves through SMS to 1166. Alternatively, they can also visit covid.gov.pk/ vaccine to register themselves via an online portal. The rest of the procedural steps are the same.
What is the step-by-step procedure for getting the Covid vaccine in Pakistan?
Initially, people are supposed to check their eligibility. This can be done by sending the 13-digit CNIC number via text message to 1166. Note, that in the message, people should not add any spaces or dashes, just the digits of their CNIC are to be mentioned.
Alternatively, people can also visit nims.nadra.gov.pk, and get themselves registered via the online portal.
People will then be sent a confirmation SMS containing their PIN code, and their adult vaccine center (AVC) name.
When the vaccine is available at the center, people will be sent a second SMS containing the date of their appointment for the vaccine shot.
Visiting the AVC:
At the designated date, people have to visit their vaccination center. They should carry their original CNIC and PIN code with them as they make their way to the assigned vaccination center.
Upon reaching the center, people are to visit the verification counter. Here, the staff will authenticate their information i.e., their CNIC number and PIN code will be checked against the schedule in NIMS. This is done to ensure that the person is eligible for vaccination.
People will have to wait for their due turn, after which, they will be given their vaccination.
Peron’s entry will be confirmed in the database. This helps to keep track of the people vaccinated.
Side effects monitoring:
At times, there can be slight reactions to the vaccine. After getting the shot, people are monitored for around 30 minutes to ensure no adverse reaction to the vaccine occurs.
As certain vaccines require two doses, hence, after around 28 days have elapsed, they will be sent out another SMS containing their designated date and the pertinent information. People are to repeat the same process for getting the second dose; they have to go to the center, verify the information and get the second shot.
How to find a Covid 19 or Corona vaccination center near me?
Vaccination is a tedious process, especially when millions of people are eligible; almost the entire population needs to be vaccinated. However, in face of such a daunting and challenging task, NCOC is working to have a comprehensive list of vaccination centers in the entire country.
Covid vaccine centers in different cities of Pakistan:
There are hundreds of vaccination centers set up in the country, distributed province-wise. Following are some of the salient ones. The comprehensive list can be accessed at this link.
Corona vaccine centers in Lahore:
- Expo Centre Johar Town Lahore
- LDA Sports Complex Minar e Pakistan
- Pakistan Kidney and Liver Research Institute (PKLI)
- Central Park Medical College
- Lahore Medical and Dental College
- Railway Dispensary Cantonment Lahore
- Indus Hospital Raiwind
- Indus Hospital Sabzazar
- Indus Hospital Kahna Nau
- Indus Hospital Manawan
Corona vaccine centers in Karachi:
- Urban Health Centre
- Expo Centre
- JPMC Hospital
- Khaliqdina Hall
- Children Hospital
- SG Qatar Hospital
- Liaquat National Hospital
- Sindh Govt. Modern Hospital, Karachi
- Social Security Kidney Center
Corona vaccine centers in Islamabad:
- Quaid E Azam International Hospital
- NIRM Hospital
- Akbar Niazi Teaching Hospital
- Polyclinic Hospital
- Social Security Hospital
- PIMS Hospital
- Maroof International Hospital
- Federal General Hospital
- U Health Pvt Limited
Corona vaccine centers in Multan:
- Ch. Pervaiz Elahi institute of cardiology
- Children Hospital Complex Multan
- Govt. Mushtaq lang thq hosp.Jabalpur Pir Wala
- Govt.thq hospital shujabad
- Nishtar Hospital Multan
- Boys Hostel Govt.Higher School Shujabad
- DHDC Multan
- Quaid e Azam academy for educational development
- ddho office,jalalpur pirwala
- Govt.Shahbaz Sharif DHQ Hospital Multan
Corona vaccine centers in Quetta:
- Fatima Jinnah Chest & General Hospital Quetta
- LRBT Hospital
- Lady Dufferin Hospital
- Al Shifa Hospital
- Civil Hospital
- Lady defrrern Hospital
- Wapda Hospital
- Red Crescent Hospital
- Najma Ghafar Hospital
- Jelani Hospital
What are the guidelines for different Covid vaccines in Pakistan?
Currently, different types of vaccines are being used for immunization, and each has its specifics that people should consider.
Sinopharm vaccine guidelines:
This vaccine is for individuals aged 18 and above. The entire vaccination process is composed of 2 doses.
It is recommended for those with comorbidities –other conditions ailing the person—like cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, and obesity. Women who are pregnant and nursing are also eligible for the vaccination.
This vaccine is not suitable for those who have a fever at the time of their appointment. Those who currently have COVID-19 should not get the shot until their isolation period is over. For those with severe symptoms, they should not take the vaccine until they become stable.
People on short-term immunosuppressive medication are to wait for 28 days after their medication ends to get the vaccine. People who are chronically immunosuppressed can receive vaccination after sufficient time has passed; those with transplants are to wait for 3 months, whereas patients on chemotherapy are to wait for 28 days after the end of their medication.
Sinovac vaccine guidelines:
Also known as CoronaVac, this vaccine is administered over two doses, spaced by 28 days.
Only individuals who are above 18 years can get this vaccine. People with allergic reactions to this vaccine, or similar inactivated vaccine, material or ingredients should not get this vaccine either. Similarly, history of reaction to any vaccine also renders one ineligible for Sinovac.
People with a history of neurological disorders like transverse myelitis, GBS, the demyelinating disease should not get this vaccine as well.
AstraZeneca vaccine guidelines:
AstraZeneca is composed of two doses as well. Only people over the age of 40 can get this vaccine. People with chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes etc. should get the vaccine.
People who have had a transplant can get the vaccine after 3 months into their operation. Those who are on chemotherapy can get the shots 28 days after their medication is done.
Those with active cases of COVID-19 should get their vaccination after their isolation period ends and their condition is stable. Likewise, individuals with fever should come to get their shots after their fever subsides. If someone is on short-term immunosuppressive medication, they should wait for 28 days after the regimen ends before getting vaccinated.
AstraZeneca is not suitable for people who are allergic to any component of the vaccine. Similarly, those who faced clotting disorder after the first dose should not get the second one. People suffering from gastrointestinal problems and seizures are not eligible for this vaccine either.
Individuals with a history of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis are also not to get this vaccine.
Moreover, people who have a history of major blood clot due to low platelet levels at the time of the initial vaccine shot should refrain from getting AstraZeneca.
Sputnik V vaccine guidelines:
This Russian vaccine is also composed of 2 different doses, spaced apart by 21 days. This vaccine is suitable for those 18 & above and having comorbidities such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory illnesses.
Pregnant women should consult their doctor prior to getting the vaccine, whereas those nursing can get themselves vaccinated.
Individuals who have fever or COVID-19 should not get the shots until they feel better and are stable. People who have complications with the first dose should not get the second dose.
CanSino Bio vaccine guidelines:
CanSino should be used for those 18 and above. Individuals just need a single dose of this vaccine. The rest of the guidelines are the same as that for Sinopharm.
What are the Side effects of Covid 19 or Corona vaccine?
Naturally, as your body gets the vaccine, your immune system has to work to generate a response. This can, at times, lead to some side effects like fatigue, muscle ache, and headache in the body. Due to injection, you can also experience some soreness and pain in your arm.
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