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Updated 29 June 2022
Following the outbreak of a potentially worrisome variant of COVID-19 recently, Omicron, discovered in South Africa, attention has now turned towards booster dose for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Here’s what you should know about Pakistan’s booster dose programme.
Booster dose programme in Pakistan
Following the outbreak of the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, the authorities in Pakistan have ramped up daily testing and have also put much importance on its booster dose programme.
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has further reduced the age limit for a COVID-19 booster dose in Pakistan, and the selection of booster vaccine now also depends on the choice of the individual, or the availability of the vaccine. However, in case a person tests positive for COVID-19, the booster dose will be administered after 28 days.
Who can get the booster dose?
According to the eligibility criteria, issued by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the following categories of individuals are eligible for a single Covid-19 vaccine booster dose:
- Immunocompromised persons of all eligible age groups
- Citizens, 18 years of age and above
- Healthcare workers
It is recommended that the people receiving this booster dose should have received the last vaccine more than five months ago Furthermore, people who are recovering from a recent Covid-19 infection should wait for at least 28 days before getting a booster dose.
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) also announced that all citizens above 18 years can get the coronavirus vaccine’s booster jab, as the Omicron variant pushes infections across the country. The free booster dose will be administered to people after a five-month gap from when their vaccination was completed.
In Todays NCOC session, age limit for booster dose has been further reduced. From tomorrow onwards, citizens over 18 years will be eligible for free booster dose of their choice. Booster (one dose) will be administered after 6 months gap from complete vaccination.
— NCOC (@OfficialNcoc) January 14, 2022
Please note that the booster / additional dose can either be the same as the initial vaccine or a different vaccine, and this choice should be based on the availability of the particular vaccine or preference of the individual. Sinopharm, Sinovac, Pfizer or Moderna vaccines can be used as boosters. Additionally, booster doses to the above-mentioned categories will be offered from the pool of vaccines procured by the Government of Pakistan
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) also states that International travellers, 12 years of age and above, with the mandatory requirement of a specific vaccine, can get additional doses after showing valid travel documents and evidence of the intended travel. The individuals will be required to submit the copy at the CVC/MVC.
The criteria cover the following categories of travellers:
- Workers who require booster doses to go abroad
- Pakistanis who are residents of other countries and require evidence of specific mandatory vaccine
- Business or official travellers
- Tourists and Hajj or Umrah pilgrims.
The Interval from the last known dose received by the individual MUST be at least 28 days; and the second additional dose (if required) is to be administered in 21-28 days after the first additional dose for Pfizer/Sinopharm, Sinovac and other relevant vaccines respectively.
How to register for the booster dose?
There is no direct process for booster dose registration in Pakistan. However, you can follow the steps given below to receive your booster dose:
- Just walk in to the nearest centre for vaccination.
- The Health Staff will verify CNIC & PIN Code and confirm your entry into the NIMS (the National Immunization Management System)
- The staff will complete the entry of your booster dose in the NIMS after you have received the additional dose.
- The staff will monitor you for 30 minutes after the completion of the jab
Please note that you can check your vaccination record by sending your CNIC number to 1166
What is the price of the booster dose?
According to the Ministry of Health Pakistan, the government has decided to abolish booster dose fees. Therefore, passengers seeking to travel outside Pakistan are eligible of getting free booster jabs by showing their travel documents at vaccination centres. The authorities have also stated that the booster dose is already free for the general public.
The free booster dose will be administered to people after a five-month gap from when their vaccination was completed.
Booster dose certificate
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) states that the booster dose certificates can be obtained by following the existing procedure through NADRA with the entry of the additional dose to it. Please check our Pakistan vaccine certificate article below to get more information about the downloading process of the vaccine certificate.
Pakistan booster dose centres
The government has established a significant number of dedicated vaccination centres in 18 major cities providing booster doses, across Pakistan. Following are some of the vaccination centres in some major cities in Pakistan.
Rural Health Center Google Location
Chak No. 53-M, Lodhran
THQ Hospital Jahanian Google Location
Khanewal-Lodhran Rd, Housing Colony, Jahanian, Khanewal, Punjab 58200, Pakistan
Dist. Headquarter Hospital Google Location
Khanewal-Lodhran Rd, Kot Allah Singh, Chak 168-10R، Khanewal, Punjab, Pakistan
Rural Health Center, Tulamba Google Location
Hospital Rd, Tulamba, Khanewal, Punjab 58080, Pakistan
Doctor Hostel Quaidabad Google Location
Hospital Rd, Quaidabad, Qaidabad, Khushab, Punjab 41000, Pakistan
Ambala Muslim College Google Location
Kot Fareed Rd, Sargodha, Punjab, Pakistan
Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology Google Location
Rawal Road, Chaklala Cantt., Rawalpindi, Punjab 46000, Pakistan
Holy Family Hospital Rawalpindi Google Location
Holy Family Rd, Block F Block E Satellite Town, Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan
Bahria International Hospital Google Location
Takbeer Block Bahria Town, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Family Health Hospital Google Location
Civic Centre Block D 2 Phase 1, Johar Town, Lahore, Punjab 54600, Pakistan
You can view the complete list of vaccination centres providing booster doses in Punjab from here.
Taluka Hospital Matli Google Location
Hyderabad Road, Matli, Sindh, Pakistan
Taluka Hospital Golarchi Google Location
Ahmed Rajo Road Badin, Sindh, Pakistan
RHC Nindo Google Location
Nindo Town, Badin, Sindh, Pakistan
Indus Hospital Badin Google Location
Karachi Road Badin, Sindh
Civil Hospital Dadu Google Location
Dadu City Taluka Dadu, Sindh, Pakistan
You can view the complete list of vaccination centres providing booster doses in Sindh from here.
Ayub Teaching Hospital Google Location
Mansehra Road، Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Hospital Google Location
Kehal, Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
PSH Quetta Google Location
Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan
Quaid e Azam International Hospital Google Location
Street 9, G-8/2 G 8/2 G-8, Islamabad
National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (NIRM) Google Location
Near Murree Express Highway, Islamabad
Akbar Niazi Teaching Hospital Google Location
Mohran Jejan, Islamabad
Social Security Hospital Google Location
National Institute of Health (NIH) Vaccination Center Google Location
G- Kashmir Hwy, 1, Service Road South, G 9/1 G-9, Islamabad
You can view the complete list of vaccination centres providing booster doses in Islamabad from here.
Azad Jammu and Kashmir
THQ Dhirkot Google Location
THQ Hospital Dhirkot, Tehsil, Dhirkot District Bagh
DHQ Hospital, Bagh Google Location
DHQ Rd, Bagh, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan
You can view the complete list of vaccination centres providing booster doses in AJK from here.
Aga Khan Medical Center Gilgit Google Location
Chilmesh Dass Gilgit، Hunza Nagar
DHO Office Skardu Google Location
You can view the complete list of vaccination centres providing booster doses in Gilgit-Baltistan from here.
Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre Google Location
Rafiqui Sarwar Shaheed Rd, Karachi Cantonment
Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi Google Location
Mission Rd, near Civil Hospital Masjid, Karachi City
Dow University of Health Sciences Ojha Campus Google Location
Mission Rd, New Labour Colony Nanakwara, Karachi City
Children Hospital in North Nazimabad Google Location
Govt Children Hospital Rd, 14 B Shadman Town, Karachi City
Booster dose approved in Pakistan
As of now, only Sinopharm, Sinovac and Pfizer are being given as booster vaccines for fully vaccinated recipients.
Sinopharm booster dose
The Chinese developed Sinopharm vaccine has exhibited 78% vaccine efficacy and won the backing of the World Health Organisation after its Phase 3 trials. To extend the efficacy of the vaccine beyond six months, a third Sinopharm booster dose has been developed and is being administered in Pakistan at the moment for travellers.
Those who have been fully vaccinated by Sinopharm are eligible for a booster dose. While most Pakistani residents have not been fully vaccinated with Sinopharm, booster doses might become available in the near future if enough residents who are doubly vaccinated need additional immunization.
Sinovac booster dose
According to a paper published by Chinese researchers, most recipients saw a decline below a key threshold in the antibodies triggered by Sinovac from six months after the second dose. Of participants who received two doses which were either two or four weeks apart, only 16.9% and 35.2% respectively still had a level of neutralizing antibodies above the threshold.
Whereas when participants were administered with a booster dose, neutralizing antibody levels increased by 3-5 fold in the four weeks that followed the booster dose when compared to the antibody levels seen in the four weeks after receiving the second dose.
Pfizer booster dose
Pfizer plans to seek authorization for a booster dose worldwide, citing the possibility that protection against the coronavirus will wane six to 12 months after full immunization with the current two-shot regimen.
As outlined by Pfizer’s 2021 second-quarter earnings report, taking a booster dose following the two initial jabs increases the level of delta variant antibodies fivefold and elevenfold in the 18 to 55 and 65 to 85 age groups respectively. A third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently authorized for use in Pakistan.
Additionally, Pfizer booster doses are being administered to the population most at risk from COVID-19, amidst growing concerns over a new Covid-19 variant, Omicron.
Moderna booster dose
The effectiveness of Moderna mRNA-1273 has been estimated at 94.5 per cent based on the final research results of 151 cases and an average follow-up of more than two months.
Moderna had also submitted an application to the US Food and Drug Administration to authorize a booster of its COVID vaccine after trial data showed a significant increase in antibodies against variants. The first two doses were 100 micrograms, while the booster was half that at 50 micrograms.
A third dose of the Moderna vaccine is currently authorized for use in Pakistan and is being used as a booster dose besides Pfizer, Sinovac and Sinophram in Pakistan.