Tuesday September 21, 2021

Choice of vaccine

August 04, 2021

There are millions of Pakistanis who are working abroad; their parents and other relatives frequently travel to their host countries to visit them. Now such family visits have become quite difficult as some countries are only allowing those people who are vaccinated with shots approved by their healthcare authorities. I have to travel to Qatar to meet my family, and for that, I must show that I have received the doses of the Pfizer vaccine – or Moderna. I got fully vaccinated at least three months ago. I have received two doses of the Sinopharm vaccine.

Even though this vaccine is approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), it hasn’t been authorised for use in Qatar. Countries can make their own travel rules and regulations, and there is nothing wrong in that. So, in order to meet this requirement, I went to Lahore’s Expo Centre last week and told the staff there that I wanted to receive Moderna doses. However, the staff there told me that since my National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) record shows that I am fully vaccinated, I cannot have another vaccine. I also learned that more than 20,000 people are facing this difficulty. Many people who have already received the Sinopharm vaccine are unable to travel to foreign countries because of their vaccine restrictions. The government is requested to look into this matter and help people travel abroad.

Ejaz Ahmad Magoon (FCA)

Lahore