The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has approved booster shots for immunocompromised people, healthcare workers and elderly people who are 50 and above. This news came in the wake of another coronavirus variant, Omicron, spreading across the world.

The statement issued by NCOC did not specify the name of any vaccine that will be used as a booster shot. However, it was mentioned that the booster shot will be free and administered after 6 months of the last vaccine shot.

The NCOC meeting that was held today also discussed the situation of Pakistan, its epidemic curve, vaccine strategy and virus prevalence in the country. The meeting also highlighted the progress of different cities in vaccinating people.

It was emphasized in the meeting that the new Omicron variant was spreading at an alarming rate across the globe and the only preventive measure to mitigate its effects is vaccination.

NCOC also announced its strict policy of “obligatory vaccination regime” starting from December 1st to vaccinate more people. The authorities have been asked to adopt a “Zero tolerance policy” in this regard.

Currently, there are 40 call centres in the country that are tracing people who have not received their second shot yet and are calling them to get completely vaccinated. The number of these call centres is likely to increase in the days to come.

Chief secretaries and provincial health ministers present in the meeting explained their initiatives to speed up the vaccination campaign, improve testing facilities and active call centres.

The NCOC statement said, “All provinces will start vaccination outreach campaigns immediately to [achieve] the vaccination targets.”

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