New stock of vaccine will reach by June end
In an emergency move, the Pakistan government has released around 150,000 coronavirus vaccines from its reserves to multiple cities across the country.
It has also requested international authorities to deliver vaccine shipments as soon as possible.
The move was taken after a Covid-19 vaccine shortage was reported at inoculation centres in big cities such as Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.
On June 28, a fight broke out at a mass coronavirus vaccination centre in Islamabad’s F-9 after the security staff barred people from entering the building. The visitors were people travelling out of the country and were told to go back due to a shortage of jabs.
The capital city is reportedly short on Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, which are being administered to people travelling out of the country. The stock of Chinese vaccines is, on the other hand, sufficient to meet the demand. According to authorities, Islamabad vaccinates people coming from other cities and countries which can be a reason for temporary shortages.
Qasim Soomro, the health secretary of Sindh, has, however, denied claims of vaccine shortage in the province. “Sindh inoculates about 95,000 to 97,000 people in a day,” he told SAMAA Digital. “Karachi alone caters nearly 63,000 people every day.”
The province is expecting 800,000 Sinovac doses, increasing Sindh’s stock to 1.4 million, Soomro added.
An employee at a mega-operational vaccination centre in Karachi said that the centre did witness a dip in vaccine availability but “came out of it smoothly”.
People were being returned unvaccinated because small operational units are allotted limited number of jabs. “This is why when more than expected people show up, they are told to wait for a couple of days,” he revealed.
Here’s a breakdown of vaccines received by Sindh in June:
On Tuesday, the United States announced that it will be sending 2.5 million vaccine doses to Pakistan by the end of June.
“The vaccine shots will come through World Health Organization’s COVAX programme, “said Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary. The COVAX programme seeks to provide vaccines to countries across the world.
Earlier this week, a fresh batch of two million Sinovac vaccines arrived in Pakistan via a PIA flight.