No shortage of Covid vaccines thanks to China: Planning Minister

Islamabad: Pakistan has no shortage of Covid-19 vaccines thanks to Iron Brother China, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said.

Speaking to Gwadar Pro after the federal and provincial governments announced to reopen the educational institutions from today (October 11), the minister acknowledged the support by China to contain the pandemic.

“China has played a great role to take us to where we are now. There is no shortage of vaccines thanks to China. They (China) have provided us more vaccines than anybody. Vaccines are readily available across Pakistan,” he remarked.

Umar urged the citizens to get vaccinated at the earliest to ensure complete victory against the Covid-19.

Besides the Chinese vaccines, the minister added, the vaccination centers also have other doses available for different age groups.

Earlier on Sunday afternoon, the federal and Sindh governments announced the reopening of all public and private educational institutions with full attendance from Monday, October 11.

Separate notifications were issued by the federal ministry of education and professional training, and the Sindh department of universities and boards.

According to the notifications, vaccination against is mandatory for all students of 12 years and above to protect against Covid-19.

While the Chinese vaccines are the most popular and widely available for adults, the government has allowed only Pfizer vaccine for the age group of 12 to 18 years – administered through mobile vaccination teams and all Covid vaccination centers.

The compliance of Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), including wearing of masks, hand washing, temperature checking and others will also be observed.

Sindh Minister of Universities and Boards Ismail Rahu announced that all universities would “resume regular academic activities with 100% attendance” from Monday.

Federal minister for planning, development and special initiatives Asad Umar mentioned that the decision was during a National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) meeting after a downward trend was witnessed in the number of coronavirus cases.

The NCOC has made vaccinations mandatory for students, teaching, and non-teaching staff. From October 15, only fully vaccinated students will be allowed to enter campuses. The age group for vaccination has been lowered to 12 years.