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Pakistan lowers age limit for Covid-19 booster dose

Single-dose booster to be administered after six months of full vaccination

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Friday lowered the age limit for a COVID-19 booster dose in Pakistan as the Omicron variant pushes infections across the country.

According to the coronavirus monitoring body, citizens over 18 years old will be eligible for a free anti-Covid booster dose of their choice from tomorrow onwards.

“Age limit for booster dose has been further reduced. Booster (one dose) will be administered after 6 months gap from complete vaccination,” the NOOC said in a tweet.

Pakistan had first started administering booster doses from December 1, 2021, for three groups — healthcare workers, individuals above the age of 50, and those having a weak immune system — and later, the age was lowered to 30 years and above on Dec 20.

NCOC’s website shows that the country has administered more than 166 million vaccines — over 76 million people are fully vaccinated, while more than 101 million are partially vaccinated.

On January 11, Planning Minister Asad Umar, who supervises the government’s anti-Covid strategy, reiterated his call on all the provinces to follow the non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) and the obligatory regime in letter and spirits in order to curtail the spread of the fifth wave of Covid-19.

Umar, the head of the NCOC, told the ceremony that the people who had not been vaccinated so far must get the shots as soon as possible, while those fully vaccinated six months ago, should go for a booster doze.

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