Pakistan has secured 17 million indicative doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The announcement was made by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan on Saturday. According to him, out of which 35-40 percent or 6 to 6.8 million doses will be available within the first quarter of the current year.
He said that the country’s vaccination drive will start from next week, beginning with frontline healthcare workers.
“Happy to share that in addition to the 500,000 doses of Sinopharm, almost 7 million does [doses] of AstraZeneca to be made available in Q1 and given to the public free of cost,” SAPM wrote on his official Twitter handle.
Happy to share that in addition to the 500,000 doses of Sinopharm, almost 7 million does of AstraZeneca to be made available in Q1 and given to the public free of cost! Pakistan’s vaccine drive starts next week, beginning with frontline healthcare workers. pic.twitter.com/6nJACx9aL7— Faisal Sultan (@fslsltn) January 30, 2021
AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use was approved by the authorities in Pakistan earlier this month.
The decision made it the first coronavirus vaccine to get the green light for use in the South Asian country.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan told Reuters, “Drap granted emergency use authorization to AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine.”.
“We are in the process to obtain Western origin and other vaccines both via bilateral purchase agreements as well as via the Covax facility,” he said.
He informed that Pakistan has also pre-booked more than a million doses of Sinopharm’s vaccine from China, adding that the Sinopharm vaccine is awaiting approval from Drap, which has received and reviewed its data.
Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar also shared that the government had received a letter from Covax that 17 million doses of AstraZeneca would be provided to Pakistan in the first half of 2021.
“We signed with Covax nearly 8 months back to ensure availability,” the minister tweeted. Out of the 17m doses, seven million will be available by March.