As part of the strategy to make ‘Panahgahs’ safe and secure and promoting healthy lives at the premises, Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Shelter Homes, Naseem ur Rehman has sought the National Command and Operation Center’s (NCOC) support for the inclusion of its service providers in the priority list for Covid-19 vaccination, it emerged on Sunday. According to the focal person, a formal request for vaccination of over a hundred frontline team members managing food, shelter and provision of neat and clean environment at the ‘Panahgahs’ of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad had been conveyed to NCOC Chairman and Minister for Planning and Special initiatives Asad Umar. “In a first leg, we are going to make sure that the service providers of twin cities are vaccinated and then as a part of effort to take this initiative to all the ‘Panahgahs’ of other cities, provincial authorities will also be approached soon,” he noted. He said such an initiative would send a strong message for vaccination’s efficiency, safety and a good practice for all, particularly the vulnerable groups. In a letter, a copy of which is available with APP, Naseem ur Rehman underscored the need for inclusion of field staff of the Islamabad and Rawalpindi’s Panahgahs, describing them as ‘among the most vulnerable group’ due to their high exposure to the potential sources of coronavirus at such congregated settings. “Like the frontline health workers, they are also exposed to the looming threat of Covid-19 and deserve inclusion in the priority list in harmony with the government’s urgent and equitable roll out vaccination.” Naseem ur Rehman said his office would look forward to facilitating the health officials for inoculation of the service providers including supervisors, shift manager staff and security guards against the coronavirus. He also forwarded contact details of the services providers to the NCOC chairman along with the formal request. Currently, the frontline health workers are being vaccinated against the coronavirus under the first phase which was initiated by the government at the advent of this month after receiving 0.5 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine from China. According to the National Vaccination Strategy, health workers will be vaccinated in the first phase, people aged 65 and above in second and those from 18 to 65 years in the third phase. Recently, Minister for Planning Asad Umar announced registration of 65 years old citizens and above for the national vaccination drive in days to come. So far, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has given approval to four, out of total eight most effective vaccines in the world, for their use in the country that included China’s Sinopharm, and CanSinoBio, Russia’s Sputnik-V and the Oxford University-AstraZeneca.