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Updated 12 January 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 shot 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, 30 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 six 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.

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 travelers, 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 covers the following categories of travellers:

  • Workers who require booster doses to go abroad
  • Students
  • Pakistanis who are residents of other countries and require evidence of specific mandatory vaccine
  • Business or official travelers
  • 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 registering your booster dose in Pakistan. However, you can follow the steps given below to receive your booster dose:

  • Just walk in to the nearest center 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

How much will the booster dose cost?

According to The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the vaccine shots are free and are administered six months after an individual’s last vaccine dose.

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 to get more information about the downloading process of the vaccine certificate.

 

Pakistan booster dose centres

The government has established a total of 21 dedicated vaccination centres in 18 major cities across Pakistan.

Punjab

Expo Hall No.3 Google Location
Expo Center Rd, Trade Centre Commercial Area Phase 2 Johar Town, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

LDA Sports Complex Google Location
Service Rd, Block D2 Block D 2 Phase 1 Johar Town, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

Government General Hospital Google Location
Hospital Rd, Block A Samanabad, Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan

Shahbaz Sharif Sports Complex Google Location
Shamsabad, Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan

MVC Hockey Stadium Google Location
Sialkot, Punjab, Pakistan

Quaid e Azam Academy for Education Development Google Location
Asif Block Wahdat Colony, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

Sindh

JPMC- Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre Google Location
Rafiqui، Sarwar Shaheed Rd, Karachi Cantonment, Karachi, Karachi City, Sindh, Pakistan

Dow Ojha Google Location
Baba-e-Urdu Road Karachi, Pakistan

Children Hospital Google Location
Buffer Zone, North Karachi, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan

DG Health Service Office Google Location
National Highway 5 Adjacent Services Hospital، Phase 1 Qasimabad, Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan

Paracha Hospital Google Location
Takkar Muhalla, Sukkur, Sindh, Pakistan

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Med Teaching Institute- Hayatabad Complex Google Location
Hayatabad, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Hospital Google Location
Kehal, Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Wadudia Hall Google Location
Saidu Sharif, Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Balochistan

PSH Quetta Google Location
Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan

Islamabad

Taralai Health Centre Google Location
Islamabad, Pakistan

Azad Jammu and Kashmir

MVC AJK in City Campus Google Location
Muzaffardbad, Pakistan

DHO Office Google Location
Allama Iqbal Rd, Sector A-2 New Mirpur City, Pakistan

Gilgit-Baltistan

PHQ Gilgit Google Location
Hospital Rd, Gilgit, Pakistan

DHO Office Skardu Google Location
Gilgit, Pakistan

 

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 shot has been developed and is being administered in Pakistan at the moment for travelers.

Those who have been fully vaccinated by Sinopharm are eligible for a booster shot. While most Pakistani residents have not been fully vaccinated with Sinopharm, booster shots 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 shot, neutralizing antibody levels increased by 3-5 fold in the four weeks that followed the booster shot 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 shot 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 shot 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 shots 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 percent 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.