Govt plans to vaccinate 70 million people by year’s end: Parliamentary Secretary

ISLAMABAD: Government has planned to administer Covid vaccination among some 70 million people by end of 2021 to save them from the deadly pandemic, Parliamentary Secretary Ministry of National Health, Member National Assembly Dr Nousheen Hamid said Tuesday.

Sharing views with the participants of the webinar ‘Life after Covid-19: Are we ready to opt for a new normal’ organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), as a part of its campaign ‘No one is safe until everyone is safe’, she said every individual would have to play role to respond to the challenge posed by the pandemic.

Covering different aspects of the topic, she said that efforts to raise mass awareness at every level are imperative to become adapted to ‘new normal’ as a nation, said a press release.

Speaking on the occasion, experts said the biggest challenge for Pakistan after Covid-19 was to get adapted with the ‘new normal’ to protect every individual from the pandemic.

Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, Hamza Shafqaat was of view that we can get adapted to ‘new normal’ only when people would start following all SOPs (standard operating procedures) as new way of life. The government cannot invade into private life to ensure that SOPs are being followed properly.

Therefore, cooperation from public was critical for the successful response to the pandemic instead of showing resistance to administrative measures, he added.

Executive Director SDPI, Dr Abid Qayyum Suleri, remarked that “The challenge has multiple dynamics including challenges such as maintaining balance in lockdown and livelihood, online and face to face education and availing health facilities etc.” Dr Suleri added further that we also need to redress emerging inequalities after Covid-19 such as access to connectivity, vaccination, and health facilities.

Public Policy Analyst Mosharraf Zaidi, while highlighting various impacts of the pandemic at societal level, said that during all the efforts to respond the challenge including vaccination, we need to ensure that no one is being left behind. The crisis could be turned into an opportunity in terms of improving our infrastructure.

He highlighted the fact that in case of a third or fourth wave of the pandemic, the cushion to support the most vulnerable communities may not be available. Moreover, it must be ensured that all polices, and measures are inclusive and covering every segment of the society, he concluded.