Vaccine: Residents of Pakistan’s Punjab and Sindh provinces who refuse to take the covid-19 vaccine could have their cell phone signal blocked. The measure was one of the solutions found by local authorities to encourage the population to immunize, as reported by The New York Times on Tuesday (15).
With 216 million inhabitants currently, the Asian country began vaccination for covid-19 in February, with the expectation of serving between 45 and 65 million people by the end of this year. However, only 3 million had received the two doses in early June, according to official data.
The suspicions regarding the immunization against the new coronavirus are related to the fake news about the subject circulating in the country, according to the publication. One of the most talked about conspiracy theories among Pakistanis is that whoever receives the doses will die within a period of up to two years.
But misinformation about vaccines is old in Pakistan, mainly associated with polio, resulting in a large number of cases there. Believing that it is a formula produced by the United States for the purpose of sterilizing children, many parents prohibit their children from being vaccinated against the polio virus.
Cutting the cell phone signal for those who do not get vaccinated should be just one of the efforts of Pakistani authorities to encourage immunization. In Sindh, the government also plans to suspend pay for civil servants who refuse to be served.
Sanctions are expected to start in July, but there is not much information yet on how they will work. While the measures do not go into effect, many Pakistanis rush to get fake vaccination certificates, sold for the equivalent of US$12 each (just over R$60 in direct conversion, at the rate of the day).