ISLAMABAD (PAKISTAN) – Pakistan received it’s first COVID-19 vaccine consignment after it’s military aircraft airlifted it from China on Monday, the country’s health adviser, Faisal Sultan, said.
China’s envoy in Islamabad would formally handover the 500,000 doses of vaccine produced by Sinopharm later on Monday, enabling Pakistan to begin its vaccination drive this week, officials said.
“Thank God, the first batch of Sinopharm vaccine has arrived! Grateful to China and everyone who made this happen,” Sultan said in a statement released on Twitter.
“I salute our frontline healthcare workers for their efforts and they’ll be first to get vaccinated,” he said.
Pakistan has asked China for another one million doses. It has also been pledged 17 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.
About 6 million doses will arrive by the end of March under the COVAX scheme, with the remainder due by mid-year, Sultan announced last week. The Russian Sputnik-V vaccine is awaiting approval for emergency use as the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan has accepted its data.
“All eligible citizens as per phases will be informed to register once the vaccine process will start,” health ministry announced at its website.
Pakistan had reported 1,615 new infections and 26 deaths in the latest 24-hours, taking the total number of cases to 546,428, with 11,683 deaths.