Vaccination centres to remain closed on Sundays, holidays: NCOC

'Decision is taken to give relief to vaccine administrators and healthcare workers who are working tirelessly to serve nation in this time of crisis'

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) announced on Saturday that the coronavirus vaccination centres will be closed on Sunday and national holidays like March 23.

“All vaccination centres across the country will remain closed on Sundays and national holidays like March 23,” said the NCOC in a statement. It advised people not to visit the vaccination centres on Sundays and other public holidays.

“This decision is taken to give relief to the vaccine administrators and healthcare workers who are working tirelessly to serve the nation in this time of crisis,” said the NCOC.

The country’s nerve centre in the fight against coronavirus, appreciated the efforts of all the federating units for management of massive vaccination drives across the country. It also saluted the front line healthcare workers especially “those involved in the ongoing vaccination drive’.

Currently, Pakistan is vaccinating the country’s healthcare workers and people over the age of 60 after launching the vaccination drive on February 2. The country is using the Sinopharm vaccine developed by state-run China National Pharmaceutical Group, which has shown to be 79 per cent effective.

Meanwhile, the country will complete the installation of a modern ultra-cold storage system for Covid-19 vaccines next week. The federal government has taken emergency measures to curb the spread of coronavirus during its third wave in Pakistan and expedited the installation process of the cold-chain storage system.

The ultra-cold chain storage system is being established in 15 cities that will be completed next week.

In the federal capital, three ultra-cold freezers will be installed with one each in the centre of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), National Institute of Health (NIH) and Tarlai Rural Health Centre.

The specialised freezers will be kept in five cities of Punjab province, including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan and Gujranwala.

In Sindh, the freezers will be kept in the port city Karachi and Hyderabad, whereas, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), these will be installed in Peshawar, Swat and Abbottabad. The freezers will be installed in Balochistan capital Quetta too.

It has been decided to install two ultra-cold freezers in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK)’s Muzaffarabad and Mirpur, as well as one in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

The modern ultra-cold freezers for Covid-19 vaccines have been provided by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

The modern storage containers will be used for storing the Pfizer vaccines which need ultra-low temperatures up to -80 degrees. The cold chain system in Pakistan has a capacity of -20 degrees to store temperature-sensitive commodities.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pfizer Covid vaccines are likely to arrive in Pakistan during the next three months.

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