Pakistan’s national team players and support staff have got their first jabs of vaccination against COVID-19, country’s Cricket Board said on Friday.

The inoculation drive was conducted in collaboration with Pakistan government’s National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the PCB said.

In the first phase, 57 men players, 13 officials of the men’s team and 13 NHPC men and women coaches were vaccinated.

A number of franchise players and support staff besides PCB match officials involved in the February-March phase of the Pakistan Super League (three match referees, three umpires) were also vaccinated.

The vaccination drive started on March 4 in Karachi and carried on for more than two months, before its conclusion on May 6 when eight players � part of Pakistan’s squad for the ongoing Test series against Zimbabwe � were given second doses in Harare.

“… we requested the NCOC for vaccines during the HBL Pakistan Super League 6. The vaccination drive started in Karachi and our first priority was to get the players and support staff involved in the tournament vaccinated,” PCB Chief Operating Officer Salman Naseer said in a statement.

“After the initial round of vaccination in Karachi, we focused on getting the remaining members of the men’s squad, who were not involved in the PSL 6, vaccinated before the tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe.”

In the next phase, remaining domestic men cricketers, national women cricketers, age-group cricketers and support staff of the domestic, national women and age-group teams will be vaccinated.

“The PCB is fully behind the government’s vaccination drive and once again urges people across Pakistan to get vaccinated in order to ensure the health and safety of their own selves and their families,” Naseer said.

“Our players � both men and women � and PCB management will continue to provide full support and backing to the NCOC vaccine awareness initiatives as they have done repeatedly since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.”