The Complete Guide to COVID Vaccination in Pakistan

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"sunday Plus", The Complete Guide to COVID Vaccination in Pakistan

Throughout human history, we have seen catastrophic viral and bacterial pandemics. Pandemics frequently result in significant loss and sadness, and the recent COVID-19 epidemic is no exception.

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) designated the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic on 11 March 2020, the virus’s downturn and mortality have been widespread, affecting millions of people worldwide.

COVID vaccination –

Currently, the world is experiencing the third COVID wave, which is reactivating infections caused by the British form of the virus. Whichever variation is causing havoc, social isolation and restricted mobility, as well as a variety of preventive measures, remain our first line of defense against the disease.

Since the pandemic outbreak, all attention has been focused on identifying a feasible solution to a battle virus outbreak. Based on our prior experiences against viral and bacterial pandemics, the ONLY viable answer was an effective vaccination.

Vaccination: What is it?

Vaccination is a form of active immunity in which a person’s immune system is stimulated to defend against an attack by a disease-causing substance. Stimulating the immune system entails intentionally exposing it to a relatively innocuous or inactivated virus or a portion of the virus. This helps your immune system recognize and respond appropriately to the virus upon subsequent encounter, protecting you against sickness.

How do vaccinations work?

Vaccination gained significance as a result of the concept of herd immunity in conjunction with individual protection. Herd immunity refers to a population developing immunity to a particular disease due to the majority of that population developing immunity to it (either due to vaccination or natural infection). Vaccination ensures individual and group protection, making it a safe and effective method of combating lethal germs and viruses.

Vaccine against COVID

Fortunately, it has been made possible by the discovery and regulatory approval of the world’s first COVID vaccination on 2 December 2020 (Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine). However, COVID immunization has been a point of contention since its inception. There are currently numerous authorized vaccines on the market, in addition to more than 100 more that are undergoing clinical or preclinical testing in preparation for market launch.

COVID vaccines come in a variety of formulations.

At the moment, there are four distinct types of COVID vaccines available on the market, each one targeting a different component of the coronavirus. The following is a detailed comparison of four distinct COVID vaccinations:

1- Vaccine against the entire virus

·         In their simplest form, vaccines induce an immune response to the disease by using the entire attenuated (inactivated) virus.

·         Intramuscular administration

·         Typical dosage – 2

·         Other vaccines of a similar nature include polio, rabies, whooping cough, and hepatitis A.

·         Sinovac, Sinopharm, and Bharat Biotech are commercially accessible.

2- Virus vaccination based on RNA (mRNA)

·         This sort of vaccine generates an efficient immune response against the disease by using the virus’s genetic material in RNA. Using genetically altered RNA, your immune system is instructed to develop resistance to the disease-causing pathogen.

·         Intramuscular administration

·         Typical dosage – 2

·         Other vaccinations of a similar nature – None

·         Commercially accessible under the brand names Pfizer–BioNTech and Moderna.

3- Vaccine using a viral vector

·         This vaccine employs a different type of inactivated virus, such as adenovirus with coronavirus genetic material. This other virus serves as a vehicle for the virus’s distribution and activates your immune system against it.

·         Intramuscular administration

·         Typical dosage – 2

·         Other vaccinations of a similar nature – Ebola

·         Commercially accessible under the brand names of Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sputnik V (Gamaleya Research Institute), and convidecia (single-dose)

4-Vaccine against protein subunits

·         Protein subunit vaccination targets a portion of the coronavirus that stimulates your immune system and enables your body to combat it.

·         Intramuscular administration

·         Typical dosage – 2

·         Other vaccinations of a similar nature include those for hepatitis B, shingles, and pneumococcal illness.

·         Novavax is commercially available.

Pakistan’s Plan for COVID Vaccination

Like the rest of the world, Pakistan initiated a vaccination campaign with a focus on frontline healthcare professionals and the elderly. Currently, the vaccination campaign is focused on citizens over the age of 60, and thousands of people are being vaccinated every day around the country. The vaccination circle has been widened, and the government has begun enrolling people over the age of 50 in preparation for the next round of mass immunization. In the future, we anticipate an expansion of the vaccine campaign directed towards the younger demographic.

So far, Pakistan’s Drug Regulatory Authority (DRAP) has approved the following vaccines:

  • Vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca (vaccine manufactured in the United Kingdom)
  • V Sputnik (Russian vaccine preferred in private healthcare facilities)
  • Sinopharm Pharmaceuticals (Chinese vaccine mostly used in government hospitals)
  • Convincing (Chinese vaccine)
  • CoronaVac CoronaVac (Chinese vaccine)

How to get vaccinated against COVID in Pakistan?

The process is accelerating with completing the COVID vaccine plan and the extension of the program in Pakistan. The National Command and Operations Centre has provided a detailed step-by-step protocol for COVID immunization in Pakistan (NCOC).

1, Registration No.

To begin, individuals can register in one of two ways. One can either send the CNIC number to 1166 (Sehat Tahaffuz Helpline) or access the NIMS (National Immunization Management System) website using the CNIC number,

2- Confirmation of registration and center assignment

Registration will be confirmed once the system verifies the entered information. Following that, AVC’s (Adult Vaccine Centre) contact information will be supplied, along with a unique PIN code.

3- Modification of AVC (Adult Vaccination Center)

Within five days of receiving the message, you may request a change in your AVC center by calling 1166 or visiting the NIMS website if the center assigned to you is outside your tehsil.

4- Scheduling an appointment

You will receive an SMS with details about your immunisation appointment once the vaccine arrives at your chosen AVC.

5- Pay a visit to your AVC

On the scheduled date, you will present your CNIC and PIN code to your immunization center.

6- Record verification

When you arrive at the immunization center, staff will validate your CNIC and PIN code.

7-Vaccination 

Following confirmation, you will receive your vaccination shot and a confirmation SMS, and you will remain at AVC for an additional 30 minutes following your vaccination. During this time, you will be monitored for any vaccine-related side effects.

8- Update to the dashboard

Your information will be added to the dashboard in real-time.

FAQ’S

Q: Do Covid-19 vaccines impair the immune system’s ability to produce antibodies?

A: No, vaccines do not impair the ability of the body to produce antibodies or suppress the immune system.

Q: Is the vaccine safe for people who have diabetes, hypertension, or rheumatoid arthritis?

A: Vaccines are suggested for diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease, among other conditions. These are high-risk populations that must be immunized.

Q: Should those undergoing dialysis or insulin therapy, as well as those with pacemakers or organ transplants, get vaccinated?

A: Individuals on insulin, dialysis, or transplantation must be immunized. Patients on dialysis and transplant recipients have a weakened immune system, and as new knowledge becomes available, immunization schedules for these people may be changed. For the time being, adhere to the present norms.

Q: Should individuals with hepatitis, tuberculosis, or HIV be immunized?

A: Tuberculosis, HIV, and chronic hepatitis patients must be immunized. Discuss your situation in detail with your doctor.

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