Expanding influx of people at mass vaccination centre leads to unrest

The expanding influx of people at the federal capital’s mass vaccination centre and mismanagement by the health authorities on Monday led to an unrest and disruption in the vaccination drive. 

Expanding influx of people at mass vaccination centre leads to unrest

By Rahul Basharat

A large number of people from northern Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) demanding AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccine reached the vaccination centre where situation went out of control from the authorities.

Due to the increasing influx of people the administration had to close the doors pushing back people entering the vaccination centre. Meanwhile, the people resisted the administration’s move and broke the doors to get the vaccine jab. 

People aiming to visit Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are visiting mass vaccination centre at F-9 Park in large numbers to get AstraZeneca vaccine jabs. 

The Saudi Arabia has banned entry of travellers with Chinese vaccines administration, while UAE has only approved SinoPharm Chinese vaccine for travellers. 

Meanwhile to accommodate the travellers and workers going to the Gulf countries, the ministry of health amended the AstraZeneca vaccine health guidelines and allowed its administration to people below 40 as well. 

However, this was the third consecutive week when people aiming to visit abroad held protest at the mass vaccination centre resulting in unpleasant clash between administration and workers. 

Mohammad Sultan, who works in a motor vehicle workshop at Saudi Arabia, informed The Nation that he came from Peshawar to get the second jab of AstraZeneca vaccine. He said that AstraZeneca vaccine was not available in KP vaccination centres and he had to come in Islamabad. Sultan said that everyone was rushing to get the vaccine because further delay in vaccination would lead to expiry of working visas of the people stuck in Pakistan. 

However, the vaccination process was put on hold after the protest took place and people entered the vaccination centre breaking its doors. Officials at the vaccination centre said that the centre had been overloaded with work as people more than its capacity were visiting the centre.

District Health Officer (DHO) Dr. Zaeem Zia told the media that expats were being administered AstraZeneca vaccine. The vaccination was underway when suddenly the rush increased due to people coming from other cities.

He said that following the COVID-19 SOPs, authorities could not allow everyone to enter the vaccination centre. The DHO said that people coming for vaccination broke down the main gate and entered the centre while two security personnel were injured in the incident.

He said that vaccination process was halted for time being however, resumed after more vaccines arrived. DHO informed The Nation that over 3000 people were vaccinated on Monday.

Originally published at The nation