The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday simultaneously initiated national immunisation drive against coronavirus in all federating units, including that of AJK and GB. The NCOC held the inaugural ceremony of national COVID immunization programme with Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar in the chair, flanked by National Coordinator NCOC Lieutenant General Hamood Uz Zaman Khan. Commercial Minister Counsellor China Xie Guoxiang was the chief guest, while Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Hussain Chaudhry, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan and SAPM on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar were also present on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar lauded the sacrifices and meritorious services of Front line Healthcare Workers (FLHCWs) for serving the nation during the pandemic. “Frontline healthcare workers are our real heroes. No doubt they have put their lives at risk in their fight against Covid-19 and we pay tribute to all of them.” He also thanked the government of Peoples Republic of China for supporting Pakistan during crisis of the Covid-19. He also paid tribute to the team NCOC and provincial authorities working in close liaison in fight against Covid-19 at the forum. Asad Umar said the simultaneous inaugural ceremony was the centre of national effort highlighting the unified collaboration of the provinces and the federal government collectively fighting the contagion. The vaccine was administered to Rizwana Yasmeen. She is working as charge nurse in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) isolation unit. She and her team members have been working tirelessly in fight against Covid-19 and she is representing all medical and paramedical staff of PIMS who have been involved in managing Covid-19 patients. The vaccinated individuals also included Javed Iqbal who is COVID surveillance team member from DHO office Islamabad. He has been working in surveillance activities since first case of Covid-19 was reported in Islamabad. Fahad Mehmood was also inoculated with vaccine who was working in pathology department of Shifa International dealing with Covid-19 testing. The ceremony in Sindh took place at Dow University Ojha Vaccination Centre where Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah was the chief guest. Chief Minister Usman Buzdar was the chief guest of the vaccination ceremony in Punjab. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan was the chief guest of inoculation ceremony. The vaccination ceremony in Balochistan was held at Chief Minister’s Secretariat. In Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), the vaccination ceremony was held at the PM Secretariat, whereas in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) inoculation was held at CS Secretariat with the GB chief minister as the chief guest. On the other hand, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr Faisal Sultan on Wednesday said that the government has fixed the target of covering 70 percent eligible Covid-19 recipients by the end of this year. In a media briefing at National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), Dr Faisal said that the government has capacity to vaccinate 40,000 eligible recipients against Covid-19 in a day, which will be further expended. He said Chinese Sinopharm is a good vaccine with 79-86 percent efficacy rate during trial in China and Hungry, while its effectiveness ratio was 86% in UAE. He added this vaccine will be helpful in controlling Covid-19 in the country.