Pakistan opens COVID-19 vaccination for 17-year-olds

Pakistan on Wednesday lowered the minimum age for Covid-19 vaccination from 18 years to 17 years, according to a statement issued by the National Command and Operating Centre.

“The general public age group for vaccination has been lowered to 17 years,” the NCOC said, adding that individuals under 18 would be given the Pfizer vaccine.

The 15 and 16 age groups are next in line to get vaccinated, according to the NCOC statement.

NCOC’s statement also elaborated that, to get registered in the National Immunisation Management System, teenagers below the age of 18 will be required to provide their B-form number.

The statement added that individuals between 12 to 17 years of age, with weakened immune systems, can also get the Pfizer vaccine. However, such individuals will have to show their medical documents as proof because currently, the vaccination drive is only open for individuals above 17 years of age.

NCOC sets Sept 15 deadline

Sajid Shah, National Health Services ministry spokesman, said that it is obligatory for individuals above 17 years of age to get their 1st dose of vaccine till Sept 15 and get completely vaccinated by the 15th of October, or else they won’t be allowed to get into their respective educational institutes.

Previously the students with age below 18 years, who were planning to travel abroad, were allowed to get the Moderna vaccine.

Mr. Shah also added that from Wednesday “at least partially vaccinated transporters will be allowed to pick and drop students and from Sept 30 onwards, only fully vaccinated people will be able to continue their transport businesses that cater to students,”

Restrictions for non-vaccinated Individuals:

  • Students will not be allowed to enter educational institutes
  • Transporters will not be allowed to provide pick and drop to students and carry out their transport businesses
  • Individuals will not be allowed to take domestic or international flights
  • Individuals will not be able to travel through local buses and trains
  • Non-vaccinated individuals will not be allowed to use highways and motorways for commute

Summary of Covid-19 vaccination drive

According to Asad Umar, planning minister and head of the NCOC, at least 35 percent of Pakistan’s eligible population has so far received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The government of Pakistan had set the target to provide vaccines to 40 percent of the adult population of Pakistan’s major cities and only a few of the cities were unable to reach the target, the NCOC head said in another tweet.

Pakistan launched its COVID-19 vaccination campaign in February 2021 and has so far administered more than 56 million doses of various COVID-19 vaccines, including Sinopharm, Sinovac, CanSino-Bio, Sputnik, Pfizer and Moderna.

In the last 24 hours, Pakistan reported 3,559 new corona cases and 101 deaths, a government portal showed on Wednesday.

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