Dr Nausheen Hamid confirmed the news on Twitter
Pakistan will begin vaccinating people against the coronavirus from April 2021. The vaccine will be provided free of charge, Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services Dr Nausheen Hamid said on Wednesday.
“The PTI government will provide the coronavirus vaccine free of charge to people,” Dr Hamid wrote on Twitter. “Government will start the vaccination from the second quarter of 2021.”
In the first phase the vaccine will be administered to people over the age of 60, said Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Health Dr Faisal Sultan.
He announced that the cabinet has approved Rs150 million for the procurement of the vaccine. A few companies have also been shortlisted.
SAMAA Digital has reached out to the federal health ministry for more details.
Clinical trials of the Chinese vaccine developed by CanSino Biologics are already underway in Pakistan. Health experts have said the response to the trial has been positive.
The vaccine, called Ad5, was developed by Chinese company CanSino Biologics and the Institute of Biology at the China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences.
It contains a modified form of the adenovirus (cold virus) which will carry the genetic material of the new coronavirus into the cells. Once human cells are exposed to this they will begin making a coronavirus protein and the body’s immune system will recognise the protein and attack it.
On Wednesday, Pakistan reported 2,829 new COVID-19 cases bringing the totol number of cases to 403,311. With 75 new deaths reported over 24 hours the death toll has reached 8,166. So far, 345,365 have recovered from the virus.