Monday September 27, 2021

System accepts one COVID-19 vaccine for one CNIC

Islamabad:If a person gets vaccinated with one type of COVID-19 vaccine, he or she is unable to get the other type as the healthcare system in Pakistan accepts only one vaccine against one Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC).

The individuals who work abroad and have been vaccinated with Chinese vaccine while on holidays in Pakistan cannot be administered any other type of vaccine by the government authorities nor can they be given any certificate from National Database and Registration Authority for any other vaccine even if they get that privately.

After having one type of vaccine, a person cannot get the other type of vaccine even if the type of vaccine he or she had is unacceptable by the host country. District Health Officer Islamabad Capital Territory Dr. Muhammad Zaeem Zia expressed this to ‘The News’ adding one person can have only one type of vaccine and he or she is given certificate of COVID-19 vaccination by NADRA on the basis of information shared by the health departments.

It is important that thousands of people working abroad have been stuck in the country after their host countries have denied acceptance of Chinese vaccine and they have already got that.

I have already received Chinese vaccine and its certificate from NADRA but now I am unable to move as my host country and the company I am working in abroad do not accept the type of vaccine I have got, said Zulfiqar, aged 40, a resident of Al-Rahman Town in Rawalpindi.

To a query, he said he has been asked by the government authorities to wait until the host country accepts the Chinese vaccine. “I am willing to get any other type of vaccine that is acceptable to my host country but I am told that I would not be given certificate for that.”

When asked, Dr. Zaeem said the health ministry cannot issue two certificates to one person. To a query, he said a person who got the first dose of a vaccine from any other country can be administered the second dose of the same vaccine if available but in our database, it would be considered as the first dose. To have a second dose from Pakistan, one has to produce legit documents like valid visa, ‘Iqama’ or residence permit, he explained.

He, however, added that people who have not been vaccinated with any type of vaccine can have a vaccine of their choice which is acceptable to their host countries. He said there is no policy of administering two types of COVID-19 vaccine to a person in Pakistan.

A senior official at NADRA’s Rawalpindi office when contacted said the Authority has nothing to do with description of vaccine’s type on certificate of COVID-19 vaccination, instead it follows the data provided to it by the health ministry. We can issue a duplicate or triplicate of a certificate but cannot change the type of vaccine as we are bound to mention details received through the health department’s setups, he said.