Pakistan to begin coronavirus vaccination of children 12 and older

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In trials, less than half of vaccine recipients reported moderate or severe episodes of side effects such as fever, headache and fatigue. Photo: Sina Schuldt/dpa
In trials, less than half of vaccine recipients reported moderate or severe episodes of side effects such as fever, headache and fatigue. Photo: Sina Schuldt/dpa

Pakistan will begin to vaccinate children aged 12 and older for Covid-19, an official said on Tuesday, amid signs of a fourth pandemic wave subsiding.

The country began the vaccination of people 17 and older this month, and the age limit was being further reduced now, said Asad Umar, the minister who oversees Pakistan’s response to the coronavirus.

Nearly 80 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Pakistan, according to the statistics released by the Health Ministry.

Pakistan relies on political ally China and the global distribution system COVAX for vaccine doses. Nonetheless, sometimes slow supply hampers the national inoculation drive in the country with a massive population of 220 million people.

Pakistan reported around 1,400 new coronavirus infections on Monday, the lowest level since early July and an indication that a fourth pandemic wave was subsiding.

Less than 4 per cent of people who were tested this week turned out to be positive, a huge decline from July and August, when the ratio was around 10 per cent.

More than 1.2 million people have been infected since the pandemic hit the country, with deaths reaching 27,000.

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