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Islamabad revises lower age limit for single-dose jab of China’s CanSino coronavirus vaccine

Vials and syringes, marked “for single use,” are seen against a magnifying glass with CanSinoBIO label. Geo Urdu/Files

ISLAMABAD: The federal capital on Tuesday revised the lower age limit for the administration of single-dose coronavirus vaccine made by China’s CanSino Biologics Inc, or CanSinoBIO, according to a report by Geo Urdu.

The age limit for the CanSinoBIO’s single-dose coronavirus jab was reduced by 10 years — from 80 to 70 years — meaning that septuagenarians in Islamabad may now get themselves vaccinated, according to the report.

Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar — who also heads the National Command and Control Center (NCOC), Pakistan’s nerve centre to monitor the coronavirus situation — on Tuesday mentioned that stricter restrictions, wider lockdowns, and rigorous implementation of the COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) were starting to show positive effects.

Umar noted that the number of positive coronavirus infections had begun declining initially but cases at the intensive care units (ICU) and the mortality rates could remain high for some time due to the situation over the past two weeks.

He reiterated his advice to the people to follow the SOPs and stay safe, saying over one million vaccine doses were already administered across the country, while two million — including 600,000 healthcare workers and 1.4 million people who were above 50 years of age — had registered for the coronavirus jab, he added.

“If you are over 50 [years of age], please register for the vaccine,” Umar advised.

The Pakistani government has been administering two coronavirus vaccines — both Chinese — at the state level. These include the single-dose CanSinoBIO jab and the double-dose drug manufactured by the China National Pharmaceutical Group, or Sinopharm.

Apart from Islamabad, the CanSinoBIO vaccine is being administered only to people over 80 across Pakistan.

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