Pakistan’s first COVID-19 mobile vaccination service launched

Islamabad: Pakistan government has launched mobile vaccination service to get the coronavirus vaccine to under served communities and ramp up vaccination amid the spike in cases.

The mobile coronavirus unit aims to reach some of the country’s most vulnerable residents, particularly senior citizens above 80 years of age and people with disabilities, directly in their homes. The service is initially available in four cities of Punjab province including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Multan.

Punjab government is the first in the country to utilize mobile vans to deliver vaccines to the people. “Senior citizens who are 80 years and above and those with disabilities over 50 years of age don’t have to leave home for the vaccine as the government vaccine vans will reach them wherever they are” said Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid.

“Citizens can simply call the health helpline 1033 to get vaccinated at home” said Chief Minister Usman Buzdar urging people to get their loved ones vaccinated soon.

Great news

Several citizens welcomed the initiative but asked the government to increase the age limit to 60 years to ramp up the vaccination process and deter vaccine hesitancy. “This is great news for many people like my grandmother who are wheelchair users and can’t go out and wait in long queues at vaccination centres” said Humair Khan, a resident of Lahore city.

“When I saw the video of the mobile vaccine vans on social media, I immediately called the helpline and ordered one for my grandma,” he told Gulf News.

Mobile vaccination can be time-intensive as compared to vaccination sites but it can help reach the country’s most vulnerable communities and ensure equitable access to the vaccine.

With the arrival of the latest consignment of coronavirus vaccines, the total number of vaccines in Pakistan has reached 2.5 million. Pakistan this week received 500,000 doses of Sinopharm and 60,00 doses of the single-shot CanSino vaccine from China. The government is vaccinating healthcare workers and vulnerable population, those above 60 years of age, free of cost.

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