Head of the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) Asad Umar declared on Monday that the government has agreed to register residents over 65 years of age for coronavirus vaccine.

“Pleased to announce that registration for getting COVID vaccine is now open for all citizens 65 and above,” said the Minister, who is in charge of spearheading the country’s battle against coronavirus.

Umar said that anyone ready to have themselves vaccinated should submit their CNIC number to 1166.

“Inshallah vaccinations for this age group will start in March,” said Umar.

The Punjab Health Minister, Dr Yasmin Rashid, told DAWN TV on Sunday that the country will use the tranche of vaccine doses it collects from the global COVAX network to vaccinate residents above the age of 65.

She said that vaccine will arrive in beginning of March.

“Those [doses] will be used for the common people above the age of 65 years,” she said.

The Minister also said that once Pakistan has vaccinated people over the age of 65, the campaign will be extended to civilians over the age of 60.

Pakistan launched its national vaccination campaign earlier this month, with frontline health workers becoming the first to receive important vaccines.

The country started its vaccination programme after receiving 0.5 million doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine from China. Subsequently, doses were spread to all provinces by land and air.

Pakistan has licensed four emergency use COVID-19 vaccines, including two from China and one from the United Kingdom and Russia.

Adult Vaccine Administration has been established throughout the country and an inoculation process is in operation assisted by a digital mechanism. 189 designated health care facilities in Punjab, 14 in Sindh, 280 in KP, 44 in Baluchistan, 14 in ICT, 25 in AJK and 16 in GB have been established for adult vaccine administration in the first tranche.

The NCOC serves as a nerve centre while designated core centres have been formed at the provincial/district and Tehsil levels.

The entire process is handled by a National Automated Immunization Management System (NIMS) with minimal human interference.