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Pakistan: Hundreds of COVID-19 vaccine doses go missing from hospital as people wait for jab

ANI | Updated: Apr 01, 2021 00:48 IST

Lahore [Pakistan], April 1 (ANI): Pakistan's already-slow vaccination process has hit another snag as 550 doses of coronavirus vaccine have reportedly gone missing from Lahore's Service Hospital, Pakistani media reported.
An additional 350 doses of coronavirus vaccines stored at the city's Government Mozang Teaching Hospital have "gone to waste", while no record could be found about the 550 missing doses, Geo News reported citing sources.
On the other hand, the principal of the Services Hospital said that the vaccines haven't disappeared but there has been an issue with the compilation of records.
Provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid maintains that the government is carrying out an audit of the vaccine doses and a report related to that will be submitted soon.
It should be noted that the medical superintendent of the Services Hospital has been suspended after the 350 doses of vaccine went to waste.
As of Wednesday, 0.8 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had been administered in Pakistan, which kicked off its vaccination drive in early February.
The first batch of vaccines containing 0.5 million vaccines arrived in Pakistan on February 1 from China.
The process started slowly as there were no takers for the Chinese coronavirus vaccine. Many healthcare workers refused to register themselves for the vaccine, expressing concerns regarding the safety or efficacy of the vaccine, officials and experts told Al Jazeera.
Vaccine uptake has also been affected by relative public indifference to the coronavirus, as Pakistan's experience of COVID-19 has been less severe than many other countries, Al Jazeera reported.
By the end of February, levels of vaccine uptake by healthcare workers were so low that Sindh's health minister ordered all government healthcare workers to take the vaccine or face disciplinary action, with similar orders given by directors at main government hospitals.
Early March, Pakistan began the second phase of a countrywide campaign by vaccinating citizens over the age of 60 against the coronavirus. (ANI)