In Kabul, a WHO team meets with Taliban leaders and warns that the health system is on the verge of collapsing

ISLAMABAD: Not only have adolescents in the age group of 15 to 17 years responded poorly to the government’s recent initiative to vaccinate them against Covid-19, but a large number of adults also appear hesitant to get their second jab, according to health experts, who attribute their slow response to behavioral issues rather than government inaction.

According to the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), which has set Sundays for only them to complete their vaccination, less than 25 million people have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, including overseas Pakistanis who received shots from abroad before getting registered here. More than 55 million people have only received the first dose of the vaccine.

Professor Dr. Javaid Usman, a microbiologist, feels the tardy response was due to the general public’s behavior. “It appears that people get vaccinated solely to be able to ride public transportation and attend events.”

This showed that individuals still didn’t understand that vaccines were meant to protect them, he said. “Now that the NCOC has tightened the noose by permitting only fully vaccinated people to use facilities, it is hoped that more people will get a second injection as well,” he said.

Approximately a million people are currently receiving immunization on a daily basis, he said. He stated that 600,000 of them will receive the first dose and 400,000 will receive the second.

“Persons should recognize that people who have been properly vaccinated have a lower risk of developing complications,” he stated.

According to the most recent NCOC data, the coronavirus claimed 47 more deaths in a single day, with 2,333 new cases registered across the country. There were 4,641 serious cases in the country as of Wednesday.

Taliban are met by a WHO delegation

A high-level team met senior Taliban leaders, UN partners, health care professionals, and patients in Kabul, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) release.

“Afghanistan’s health system is on the verge of collapse,” the WHO said. The country is on the verge of a humanitarian disaster unless immediate action is taken. Our visit allowed us to see firsthand the Afghan people’s pressing needs and engage with stakeholders to determine how we can quickly scale up our health response.

“We engaged in constructive communication to address concerns and find solutions that will allow us to continue our life-saving work for millions of innocent Afghans afflicted by decades of conflict, in accordance with UN principles of neutrality and independence. During our visit, we focused on a number of critical health issues that require immediate care, as well as the need to invest in long-term development objectives.”

Zainab Murtaza

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