NCOC approached to include ‘Panahgah’ workers’ as font-liner for COVID vaccine

ISLAMABAD:Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Shelter Homes Naseem ur Rehman has approached National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) for vaccination to as many as 94 staffers of ‘Panahgahs’serving thousands of underprivileged of twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi daily.

In a letter, addressed to NCOC Chairman and Minister for Planning and Special initiatives Asad Umar, Naseem underscored the need for inclusion of field staff of the Islamabad and Rawalpindi’s Panahgahs, describing them as ‘among the most vulnerable group’ due to their high exposure to the potential sources of coronavirus at such congregated settings.

“Like the frontline health workers, they are also exposed to the looming threat of COVID-19 and deserve inclusion in the priority list in harmony with the government urgent and equitable roll out vaccination,” reads a copy of the letter available with reporter.

Naseem ur Rehman said his office would look forward to facilitate the health officials for inoculation of the service providers including supervisors, shift manager staff and security guards against the coronavirus.

He further said “In a first leg, we are going to make sure that the service providers of twin cities are vaccinated and this initiative would be extended to all the Panahgahs of other cities for which provincial authorities will also be approached soon,” he maintained.

Currently, the frontline health workers are being vaccinated against the coronavirus under the first phase which was initiated by the government at the beginning of this month after receiving 0.5 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine from China.

According to the National Vaccination Strategy, health workers will be vaccinated in the first phase, people aged 60 and above in second and those from 18 to 60 years in the third phase.

Recently, Minister for Planning Asad Umar announced registration of 65 years old citizens and above for the national vaccination drive in days to come. So far, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) has given approval to four, out of total eight most effective vaccines in the world, for their use in the country that included China’s Sinopharm, and CanSinoBio, Russia’s Sputnik-V and the Oxford University-AstraZeneca.