US envoy launched nationwide drive to administer Covid-19 vaccine to children

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By Shabbir Hussain

ISLAMABAD, Sept 19 (Alliance News): US Ambassador Donald Bloom Monday visited a vaccination center here along with the representatives of the US government to formally launched a nationwide drive to administer the first dose of the Covid-19 pediatric vaccine to children.

The envoy was also accompanied by the officials of the Health Department, including  Federal Minister of Health Abdul Qadir Patel who had received the 8 million donated by the US. Pfizer doses of Covid-19 pediatric vaccine for children.

It should be noted that since the beginning of the corona epidemic, the United States had committed to donate 78 million vaccines to the people of Pakistan, of which more than 70 million doses have been handed over to Pakistan.

Addressing health officials at the inauguration campaign, Ambassador Donald Blome said  “Today, we celebrate the next step in protecting all Pakistanis against this devastating disease by launching the pediatric vaccination campaign.  Our recent collaboration to protect the children of Pakistan demonstrates the importance of our longstanding partnership to work together and overcome the global challenge.”

The envoy said that the American government is supporting Pakistan through USAID in the campaign to vaccinate children between the ages of five and 11 years, while this campaign is taking place in selected districts of the federal capital, Sindh province and Punjab province.

On the occasion, the National Institute of Health (NIH) Executive Director Major General Dr. Amir Ikram, DG Health Services Dr. Shabana Saleem and other senior government officials participated in the inauguration ceremony.

Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel while appreciating the commitment of both the countries to fight against COVID-19 in Pakistan, said that protecting our populations from corona epidemic is the common priority of our two governments.

He said that the initiative would helpe to protect millions of children from the epidemic.

It will help to protect from the most destructive effects, he added.

He thanked the US government for its support to improve health services in Pakistan and said that this cooperation is a reflection of the strong mutual relations between the two countries.

In addition to the vaccine, the US government has also provided $80 million in direct aid and equipment to Pakistan to help in the fight against Covid-19. The United States has also provided Pakistan with 1.2 million N-95 masks, 96 thousand surgical masks, 52 thousand safety glasses, 1 million rapid diagnostic tests, 12 hundred pulse oximeters and 2 ventilators for 64 Pakistani hospitals. have caused

The American government has provided training to 50,000 health workers, including more than 30,000 women, to care for corona victims at home and has also created a network of disease surveillance and response units and teams.

As a result, infrastructure has been made available to fight the current wave of epidemics and possible diseases in the future. These laboratories have increased the capacity to diagnose diseases across Pakistan, especially in remote and underserved areas.