Several vaccination centres in Pindi facing Sinopharm vaccine shortage

RAWALPINDI: As vaccination drives across the country continue amid the third wave of Covid-19, a shortage of the Sinopharm vaccine has been reported in several vaccination centres of Rawalpindi.

Mohammad Rafiq, 45, a resident of Yousaf Colony, visited the vaccination centre established at Jan Marriage Hall on Chaudhry Bostan Khan Road for the second dose of Sinopharm but he was told to visit the centre after two days as the vaccine was in short supply.

In Shamsabad and Fatima Jinnah Women University vaccination centres apart from others, people faced s similar problem. “I visited Shehbaz Sharif Sports Complex vaccination centre and the staff refused to give the second dose,” said Mohammad Nisar.

Staff at the Lahore High Court Rawalpindi bench vaccination centre informed lawyers that there was a shortage of the Sinopharm vaccine. People who had been asked to visit after two or three days were worried about the effectiveness of the first jab of vaccination. They have asked the government to ensure supply of the vaccine for everyone, especially those who already received their first dose.

Citizens fear first jab might not be effective if second dose is not given on time

When contacted, Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mohammad Umer said there was no shortage of the vaccine in government-run hospitals, including Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Holy Family Hospital, District Headquarters Hospital and Rawalpindi Institute of Urology.

Replying to a question about effectiveness of the vaccination if the second jab is administered late, he said if anyone received the second jab three to four days later than the prescribed date, it would not harm the process of building up antibodies. However, he said if the second dose is administered very late, it will not have as much impact to save people against the virus.

When approached, Rawalpindi District Health Authority Chief Executive Officer Dr Faiza Naeem confirmed that there was shortage of the Sinopharm vaccine, adding she had informed health authorities about the shortage.

“Upon our repeated request, the provincial government committed to dispatch the vaccine in a day or two,” she said and added that people were given the first dose available with the health authority and for the second jab they had been requested to wait for a day or two.

On the other hand, some people also complained about facing problems in getting themselves registered due to the slow process of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra).

“I sent my Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) number at 1166 but got a message with the code number of vaccination after five days,” said Fiza Hameed, a resident of Defence Housing Authority (DHA).

Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2021

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