Every government around the world is trying to ensure they have enough vaccines for their citizens. The Government of Pakistan had promised that they would roll out the Covid19 vaccination program in March and the population would be inoculated by November.
However, as an editorial in Dawn notes “Given that the government is yet to procure the vaccine from the multiple manufacturers it is engaged in discussions with, this is a challenging plan.” Further, as Dawn editorial notes, “the big test ahead for the government still looms as an official order has yet to be placed and March is less than a month and a half away. Given the global demand for vaccines, and the priorities of these pharma companies to supply to their own countries first, the government’s pledge to start vaccinating the population in the first quarter appears ambitious.”
Furthermore, “Pakistan’s low investment in the fields of biotechnology and education is evident. It means that we, unlike India, will not be able to manufacture the vaccine, and will therefore not only vaccinate our population later than others but also not generate any revenue during the exercise.”
The final challenge “will be effective distribution through an uninterrupted programme. Logistics, effective communication and upholding the best medical practices will play a key part in a successful programme. Disinformation and propaganda about the Covid-19 vaccination is at an all-time high, as social media and private messaging groups are flooded with false information and fear-mongering content that can dissuade people from taking the jab.”