No more vaccines needed – Journal
THE vaccination rate in the country has slowed in recent days and could lead to a crisis if not treated effectively. After hitting the 130,000 dose mark earlier this week, vaccination centers across the country inoculated only 55,728 people on Thursday, including 46,113 people who received their second injection. Less than 10,000 received their first jab that day. Although SAPM Dr Faisal Sultan initially dismissed concerns about a shortage, a special meeting of key federal government figures held later indicated otherwise. A press release issued after the meeting suggests that steps are being taken to initiate the process of provisioning lines of credit with the country’s development partners so that timely payments can be made to suppliers for a regular supply of supplies. vaccines. Importing the vaccine requires cash, a requirement Pakistan can only partially meet through domestic funding. The government has encountered significant challenges in approaching creditors such as the World Bank and AfDB. The first is the fact that none of the lenders would approve funding for vaccines that are not WHO approved – a reality that, until a month ago, complicated issues of vaccine supply in the country. country. It was only recently that the WHO approved two vaccines from China, where Pakistan hopes to get the majority of its vaccine supply. These lenders also have strict procurement rules for transparency and tendering that the National Disaster Management Authority, which was responsible for the procurement, must adhere to.
As the government approaches creditors and suppliers, it needs to ensure transparency in vaccine delivery and timelines so members of the public don’t find themselves fumbling in the dark. The most vulnerable and the elderly should be given priority for the first and second dose, and at the same time, through awareness-raising measures, the public should remain engaged to ensure that interest in getting vaccinated does not wane. not. The time lag between when creditors are approached and final funding disbursement can often be several months, so the government must take these realities into account when using its resources to expand operations and vaccine distribution.
It is a shame that Pakistan has only managed to deliver 12.7 million doses in total, with just over 3 million people fully vaccinated. With a target vaccine population of 70 million, the total doses required are 140 million – a figure that means the road ahead for Covid-19 inoculation will be long and fraught with several challenges. Many developing countries were affected when delivery of Covax vaccines stopped earlier in the year, and most are still struggling to source as manufacturers meet their commitments to richer countries that have were the first to place and pay for orders. As economically weaker countries struggle to vaccinate their large populations, richer countries need to know that failure to curb Covid-19 will result in economic damage for everyone.
- Posted in Dawn, June 20, 2021 *