Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi made the annoucement
Pakistan will be receiving its first consignment of COVID-19 vaccines at the end of this month. China has assured the country that 500,000 vaccine doses will be delivered by January 31.
“This first batch come under grant assistance, so Pakistan will not be charged,” confirmed Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a press conference in Islamabad on Thursday.
China’s minister for foreign affairs had given Qureshi this reassurance, adding that Pakistan will also receive support from the former to manufacture vaccines.
I have thanked China for this generous move, said Qureshi.
“However, I also informed them that our requirement is much higher, close to 1.1 million doses,” said the foreign minister. China said it will also fulfill this requirement by the end of February.
Keeping in mind our all-weather strategic relationship, China said the first country they thought to help with vaccines was Pakistan, stated Qureshi.
Trials of China’s Cansino vaccine in Pakistan have been going on smoothly and the preliminary results are promising, he added.
On Wednesday, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said the country was is in the “advanced stage” of discussions for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines from Chinese companies Sinopharm and Cansino.