Minister Under fire for getting family vaccinated through links

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Federal Minister for Housing Tariq Bashir Cheema of the Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q), which is an ally of the ruling PTI, came under fire on Tuesday after video clips surfaced on social media allegedly showing several of his family members getting vaccinated for the coronavirus.

The video clips, that were originally shared on the Instagram account of one of Cheema’s relatives, showed health workers vaccinating several people gathered at someone’s home. The account is no longer active on Instagram.

The people in the video can be seen flashing the thumbs-up sign after being administered the jab. Former model and television host Iffat Omar was also tagged in one of the Instagram videos.

An official of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) said that unfortunately a large number of people were being vaccinated without being in the queue.

“Mr Umar has a number of times pointed out that vaccine should be administered only on merit. However, the violation could not be stopped. On the one hand a large number of people are not ready to get themselves vaccinated and on the other some people are so eager that they don’t want to wait for their turn,” he said.

An official of the UHS, requesting not to be quoted, said that apparently the minister involved the UHS to defuse the situation.

“However it is a fact that we have been vaccinating tho­se who got water instead of vaccine as during trial dou­ble blind vaccine was used. We also pay visits at residences of volunteers, but I doubt that they were vaccinated during the trial,” he said.