Fifteen months after the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, Pakistan, like many other developing countries, still faces an uphill task in vaccinating most of its people. As of June 11, the country has fully vaccinated 2 million people, with 10 million vaccine jabs administered. While some may view that as good news, the country could have done better if instead of delaying, the Imran Khan led government had purchased enough vaccines to vaccinate 70 million people as per its aim.
According to a Dawn editorial, “the vaccination drives in major cities are managed well” but the real challenge will come “when the government expands centers into smaller cities and rural districts. Across the world, a successful vaccine roll-out is imperative to protect against the virus and drive herd immunity. Pakistan must play its part by ensuring equitable vaccine access.”
The government, according to Dawn, needs “to demonstrate to members of the public how badly health, business and education have suffered during the pandemic. To do this, engaging citizens from each of these sectors to act as role models for others could have positive results. The public must also know that with developing countries successfully vaccinating a majority of their population, travel curbs on Pakistan could remain in place for fear of variants. Aside from the challenge of communicating the consequences of vaccine refusals to the public, the government also has the gargantuan logistical task of administering the vaccine safely and efficiently at centers across the country. Not only must authorities ensure the vaccine is stored and maintained according to scientific guidelines, they should also devise a strategy that prioritizes efficient service.”