The Government of Sindh has made COVID-19 booster jabs mandatory to curb the spread of the new Omicron variant identified in Africa last week.
The World Health Organization (WHO) labeled Omicron a ‘variant of concern’ on Friday, and its panel said that “early indications suggest that the new variation is even more transmissible” than the Indian-origin Delta variant.
Sindh’s Health Secretary Zulfiqar Ali Shah told the media that the government has decided to administer booster doses to high-risk individuals.
He added that the Pfizer vaccine will be administered as a booster jab.
Shah also stated that “the booster dose is being given only in Jinnah Hospital and DOW Ojha Hospital but it will be provided to the entire province and no charges will be taken for the booster jab”.
Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar revealed on Saturday that the government has banned travelers from six African nations and Hong Kong after the emergence of the new heavily-mutated variant.
He tweeted, “Based on the emergence of the new covid variant, notification has been issued to restrict travel from 6 South African countries and Hong Kong. The emergence of new variant makes it even more urgent to vaccinate all eligible citizens 12 years and older”.
The move follows a temporary travel ban on countries including South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Botswana, and Namibia by the 72-nation European Union (EU), the UK, and the United States.