500,000 more expected Wednesday
A fresh consignment of 500,000 Sinopharm vaccines arrived in Islamabad from China Tuesday.
The COVID-19 vaccines were transported through a special plane of the Pakistan International Airlines.
Another 500,000 doses are expected to arrive by Wednesday, according to Qadir Bux Sangi, the PIA country manager for China.
There were rumours of a shortage of the Sinopharm vaccine after people reported vaccination centres had run out of it.
On May 27, Pakistan’s health ministry confirmed that the shot was still available and being used to inoculate adults.
“Sinopharm is currently in Pakistan and will continue to be given,” the Ministry of National Health Services said. “The rumour that Sinopharm is not available is completely false.”
A special PIA flight brought on Sunday a consignment of another Chinese-made vaccine, Sinovac, from Beijing.
The much-awaited Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine reached Pakistan last Friday. COVAX, the WHO vaccine-sharing alliance, provided more than 100,000 doses of the vaccine free of cost.
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan has approved the shot for everyone over the age of 12.
Apart from the three above-mentioned vaccines, the government is also providing the Cansino and Astrazeneca jabs free of cost.
Pakistan intends to vaccinate 70 million people by the end of 2021, Planning Minister Asad Umar said Monday. The minister, who also heads the National Command and Operation Centre, said that over 5.2 million people have been vaccinated across the country.
Coronavirus vaccination of Pakistanis above 18 years will start from June 3.
On May 29, the government opened walk-in vaccination for people above the age of 30 years.
Officials say 10 million vaccines have been arranged and another 10 million each would be available in June and July.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said that China has always attached great importance to Pakistan’s demand for vaccines to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Chinese vaccine manufacturers have cooperated with Pakistan in the development and production of vaccines from the very beginning and will continue to export vaccines to Pakistan,” the spokesperson added.