ISLAMABAD: Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar has announced that the government plans to open the registration of all citizens over the age of 50 from March 30.
Taking to Twitter on Friday, Asad Umar urged Pakistanis to encourage elderly people to register themselves for getting the vaccine shots.
“Registration of those who are 50 plus for covid vaccination will be opened on march 30th. Registration of those who are 60 and older has already been open. Encourage everybody who is 50 plus to register when the registration is opened for them on 30th,” he tweeted.
Earlier this month, the government allowed vaccination of people above 60 years of ago.
According to reports, only 2.25 per cent or 180,000 of an estimated 8 million senior citizens in Pakistan had registered for the coronavirus vaccination until March 2.
The number has been described as a slow and discouraging response from the public to the vaccine campaign.
Pakistan launched its COVID-19 vaccine drive in early February beginning with the healthcare workers in the first phase after receiving Sinopharm doses from China.
At least 25 per cent of the 400,000 registered doctors, nurses and paramedical staff registered have been vaccinated by now, according to local media reports.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan earlier said that the country had adequate stocks of coronavirus vaccines to begin vaccination of senior citizens.
On Wednesday, Pakistan said it was about to receive the 1 million doses of Sinopharm and CanSino coronavirus vaccines bought from China.
The tranche, which is expected to arrive by end of March, will be the first purchased vaccines. Pakistan is currently administering the 1.5 million Sinopharm doses donated by China. The government is vaccinating frontline healthcare workers and citizens over the age of 60 free of charge.
“We have purchased 1 million doses of Sinopharm and 60,000 of CanSino vaccines,” said Minister Asad Umar, spearheading the national fight against the pandemic operations.
The government hopes to procure another 7 million doses from the same Chinese companies by the end of April. The batch of 4 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine due to be delivered to Pakistan by COVAX has been delayed for now. Pakistan is aiming to vaccinate around 70 million of its total 220 million population to reach community immunity.