The Government of Pakistan joined a United Nations public advocacy campaign ‘Only Together’ which calls for covid vaccination to be obtainable to everyone and everywhere to contain the deadly pandemic. No doubt, it is pivotal to control the pandemic for quick recovery of the virus-hit global economy. Moreover, Prime Minister Imran Khan had also called for equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccine. Back in January, the Prime Minister, at the fourth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva, called for proposing an equitable supply of the coronavirus vaccine in the developing states. Health experts urge that the COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest public health issue the world has faced presently. No health system in the world can cope with this pandemic once the rate of spread gets beyond a certain point. The Government of Pakistan is, therefore, constantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Pakistan and accordingly taking all possible appropriate initiative in collaboration with provincial governments and development partners to mitigate its adverse effects on the economy.
The present government is also committed to offering efficient, equitable, accessible and affordable health services to the people of the country with the aim to create a productive workforce for the future that could efficiently contribute to the development of Pakistan.
Statistics show that from a period of June to December 2021, 20 percent of the population will be vaccinated. It has been so far received 2.56 million doses of COVID vaccine, while 8.5 million more doses would be received in April and May 2021. The federal government informed the Sindh High Court (SHC) that they have inked contracts for vaccine accessibility with the World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB). But unluckily there are complaints about unjust distribution of the corona vaccine in the country. To provide the basic health facility is the responsibility of the Government of Pakistan and the price fixed for the vaccine has been away from poor’s reach. Pakistan, largely reliant on the COVAX vaccine-sharing initiative, last month allowed private companies to import vaccines and agreed to exempt them from price caps, but later rescinded the exemption and said it would set maximum prices.
The government started the vaccination campaign in February with the doses donated through the Chinese government. It also predicted millions of doses under the arrangements with COVAX and Gavi. However, these consignments had been delayed. Recently the government of Pakistan imported vaccines from China. The vaccination drive becomes more significant as the third wave of COVID-19, driven by the UK strain of coronavirus has intensified.
Statistics show that 0.8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in the country and the campaign would be more sped up. Total 0.5 million purchased doses of China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine had been attained presently with an additional 0.5 million doses scheduled to arrive shortly. The Government of Pakistan would have possession of 1.0 million purchased vaccine doses in total with these 2.0 consignments, adding that millions of doses of purchased COVID-19 vaccine would continue to come shortly. In this month April 2021 and coming months May and June this year, orders for millions of doses are being finalised and they will keep coming. Sources record that the registration for people above 50 had been opened while the inoculation campaign for people above 60 was ongoing. Prime Minister Imran Khan stated the authorities to ensure that coronavirus SOPs were being followed and instructed them to start a campaign to raise consciousness about precautionary initiatives against this pandemic. Health experts in Pakistan suggest that the most effectual policy to fight the third wave of the pandemic is to control activities that spread the pandemic and wear masks. Furthermore, worldwide experiences had shown that wearing a mask was the most effectual way to halt the spread of this pandemic.
The policy to deal with the third wave of the COVID-19 and to halt the spread should be made keeping in view the economic condition and the challenges of the people. The poor people unluckily are the most affected through this virus. The focus of Pakistan’s entire policy is to offer them relief and protect them from the negative effects of this pandemic. Moreover, it is also directed provinces to ensure that district administrations also play an effectual role in the enforcement of SOPs in the country.