On Monday, US government representatives and Government of Pakistan health officials met at an Islamabad vaccination clinic to kick off a statewide campaign to vaccinate children with the first batch of 8 million Pfizer COVID-19 paediatric vaccine doses supplied by the US.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, the US has pledged to send more than 78 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the people of Pakistan, and more than 70 million of these doses have already arrived. The United States is Pakistan’s major source of COVID-19 vaccinations.
The United States government, through USAID, is assisting the Government of Pakistan with its COVID-19 paediatric vaccination campaign for children aged 5 to 11. Today, US Ambassador Donald Blome joined Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel at the Mass Vaccination Center in Islamabad to kick start the life-saving programme.
US Ambassador Donald Blome joined Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel at the Mass Vaccination Center in Islamabad to kick off the life-saving programme. The campaign is taking place in the capital of Sindh and selected areas of Punjab. The occasion was also attended by NIH Executive Director Major General Dr Aamer Ikram, and Dr Shabana Salem the Director of General Health Services, and other high Pakistani government officials.
“Today, we celebrate the next step in safeguarding all Pakistanis against this dreadful disease by commencing the paediatric immunisation campaign,” Ambassador Blome said to health officials at the inauguration campaign. Our recent collaboration to protect Pakistani children exemplifies the importance of our long-standing alliance to collaborate and address the global challenge.”
Moreover, Abdul Qadir Patel praised both countries’ commitment to combat COVID-19 in Pakistan, saying, “Protecting our communities from COVID-19 is a shared responsibility of both of our governments, and these vaccines will protect millions of youngsters from the pandemic’s most severe effects.”
In addition to the vaccines, the US government has donated over $80 million in direct and in-kind assistance to the people of Pakistan in their fight against COVID-19. More than 1.2 million N95 masks, 96,000 surgical masks, 52,000 protective eyewear, one million COVID-19 fast diagnostic tests, 1,200 pulse oximeters, and 200 ventilators have been sent to 64 hospitals in Pakistan. Additionally, the US government trained over 50,000 health workers in Pakistan, including 30,000 women, on home-based care for COVID-19 patients and established a national network of disease surveillance and teams and response units, to overcome the current pandemic and also for building resilience for the future. In July, the US also sent four mobile testing labs to Pakistan’s National Institute of Health in order to improve the country’s ability to diagnose ailments in rural, underserved areas.