The threat of warmer weather looms closer every day, and with it comes the expected threat of dengue with the usual need for precautions against mosquitoes. The Lahore High Court has asked the Punjab Health Department to dispose of the dengue vaccinations that are beyond their expiry dates, as the province gears up for another spring spent trying to ward off mosquitoes that carry the life-threatening illness.

At best, expired vaccinations can be deemed ineffective and at worst, adverse reactions or unexpected side effects can surface. The government’s reply to the LHC claimed that the regime knew better than to use expired vaccinations, which begs the question: why was the old medication still lying in storage since 2011.

The dengue outbreak has been dealt with more diligence than is usually the case with other government projects, and has led to an annual decrease in the number of cases in the country. The awareness campaign has been targeted in the Punjab due to the high number of cases in the province, and seems to have worked for the most part. But the government will need to be on its toes annually. Awareness is only the first step in tackling a disease, after which treatment and prevention should follow. When the dengue mosquitoes come in full force, the government will need to ensure that the vaccinations for treatment and preventative sprays are used effectively. If any slip ups happen, the country will be back to square one in tackling the disease, and all progress made could potentially be lost, along with the lives of those afflicted.