ISLAMABAD: Although adolescents within the age bracket of 15 to 17 years haven’t responded well to the drive for getting vaccinated against Covid-19, the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) believes that true statistics will become evident during the week ranging from Monday (today).
Moreover, the Drug regulatory agency of Pakistan (Drap) and district health authorities of Islamabad nabbed a member of a gaggle involved in selling Actemra injections at exorbitant rates.
On the opposite hand, 71 people succumbed to the virus and over 2,500 tested positive over the last 24 hours.
It is worth mentioning here that the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) had announced that vaccination of adolescents aged 15 to 17 years would start from Sept 3 and that they would only be administered Pfizer. It further said the power would be freed from cost.
The forum advised youngsters to go to vaccination centres with their B forms, informing them that they might get their certificates from Nadra’s website a bit like people with computerised national identity cards (CNICs).
When a senior official of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) was asked about the response among adolescents to the vaccination process, he said it had been very slow. However, he hoped that the pace would improve within the coming days.
“As Pfizer was deployed last week, the important response are going to be assessed from Monday (today),” he said.
The official said children under the age of 18 were being inoculated with Pfizer, but since the vaccine was available in just selected centres in every city, the response was slow.
Meanwhile, Drap and therefore the district administration of Islamabad exposed a gang involved in selling Actemra — given to very critical patients — at double the rates.
“The Drug Control DHO-ICT and DRAP team under supervision of Senior Drug Inspector, Islamabad, after a strategically trap, succeeded in nabbing a culprit involved in selling unregistered/smuggled Actemra injection to patients at Rs 110,000 per injection rather than Rs 59,000,” a tweet of the District Health Office stated.
An official of the NHS ministry said the injection was smuggled from Turkey and was being sold at exorbitant rates.
“The medicine was unregistered therefore we cannot say with surety whether it’s genuine. an individual involved in selling the injection has been arrested and further investigation goes on,” he said.
Actemra is monoclonal antibodies and is employed to lock the system . Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to repel harmful antigens like viruses.
“During Covid-19, the system becomes hyperactive and starts killing human cells that have the coronavirus and as a result the patient gets affected more. Medicines, like Actemra, lock the system and stop it from killing the cells. However this process also can be dangerous because a patient becomes susceptible to attacks from all diseases because the system stops working,” a pharmacist said.
However when Actemra became short everywhere the world , Drap approved alternative drugs within the first week of September and allowed health facilities to use them for critically-ill Covid-19 patients.
According to a politician statement of the NHS ministry, Tocilizumab, especially together with dexamethasone, has been effective in lowering the deathrate among Covid-19 patients whose respiratory systems decompose rapidly and need oxygen delivery through a high-flow device or non-invasive ventilation.
“However, there’s now a shortage of this life-saving drug not just in Pakistan but across the planet . Regulatory bodies in various countries have re-directed healthcare providers to alternatives. As per the newest guidelines issued by the NHS ministry, baricitinib or tofacitinib are appropriate alternatives to Tocilizumab. Both belong to an equivalent class of anti-inflammatory drugs i.e. the Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. Baricitinib (or tofacitinib) should only tend together with dexamethasone or another corticosteroid,” it stated.
On the opposite hand, the NCOC announced that 71 patients had died and a couple of ,580 more got infected within the last 24 hours.
According to data, the amount of active cases was 63,909 as of Sept 19.
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