PMA urges the federal government to take all stakeholders on board for the COVID vaccine


KARACHI: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has urged the federal government to get the PMA and other stakeholders on board before getting the coronavirus (COVID-1) vaccine.

As you know, the PMA represents the medical community. So we are asking the government to let us know which COVID-19 vaccines they would like to import and what effectiveness those vaccines would be.

According to the information received, the Pakistani Medicines Control Authority (DRAP) has approved AstraZeneca’s India-made COVID-19 vaccine. Pakistan will acquire this vaccine through COVAX, a global alliance in support of vaccines. The alliance includes the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the Coalition for Innovation in Epidemic Preparation (CEPI) and the World Health Organization. COVAX has promised to provide free vaccines to 20% of the population of around 190 countries including Pakistan.

The PMA would like to know how the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is dosed and whether it will be given once in a lifetime, once a year or more. The PMA and other stakeholders should be considered by the government. Healthcare workers in both the public and private sectors should receive the vaccine as a priority.

So far 175 doctors and 30 paramedics have been killed by COVID-19. Most of the deceased doctors are ENT specialists, pathologists, general practitioners, doctors, pediatricians, gynecologists, ophthalmologists, anesthetists, and dentists. All of these doctors were concerned when examining their patients because they did not know whether the patient they examined was COVID positive or not.

Unfortunately, if a doctor turns out positive, he doesn’t know where to go either. Beds are not reserved for doctors in any hospital designated by Corona. There is no policy on caring for healthcare workers who are the frontline soldiers in the war on coronavirus.

So many countries in the world have started vaccinating their people. Even India has started the world’s largest vaccination campaign against coronavirus, vaccinating more than 300 million people. Pakistan, on the other hand, could receive the first shipment of the free vaccine from COVAX in the second quarter of 2021.

Unfortunately, at the end of our government, we don’t see such planning for vaccinating people. This planning should be initiated urgently, the first phase of the vaccination campaign should be stamped, lists of doctors and paramedics should also be drawn up for the vaccination. Public awareness campaigns about this vaccine should also be launched through the media to help prepare people for vaccination.

The PMA urged the government to accelerate the acquisition of vaccines for COVID-19. Priority vaccination should be given to healthcare workers in both the public and private sectors. People over the age of 60 with diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer or other uncompromising illnesses should be vaccinated as a priority, as should people over the age of seventy with no disease. Public awareness campaigns about this vaccine should also be launched through the media to prepare people for vaccination and to provide free vaccines to the entire population of the country.

-MN report



Robert Dunfee