Frontline health workers to be inoculated first
Pakistan has formally launched the coronavirus vaccination drive as the country continues to battle the virus. The country has reported 549,032 cases so far and its death toll stands at 11,802.
The country received the Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine early Monday morning. Thousands of frontline health workers from both public and private sectors are being inoculated first. They will receive the BBIBP-CorV vaccine developed by Chinese firm Sinopharm. It has an efficacy of 79.3%.
On Tuesday, the federal government distributed the Chinese-made coronavirus vaccines among Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan. Sindh received 84,000 doses of the vaccine, Punjab 70,000, KP 65,000, and Balochistan 10,300 doses.
On Wednesday, inauguration ceremonies were held in Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, and Karachi.
Dr Rana Imran Sikander, the head of the COVID-19 war at PIMS, became the first person to receive the vaccine in Pakistan. He was administered the vaccine on Tuesday.
Dr Faisal Sultan, the special assistant to PM on health, said that the Sinophram vaccine is trusted and good.
He remarked that it has an efficacy of 79% to 86%, adding that it will be administered to people in Egypt, Hungary, China as well.
Asad Umar, the federal minister of planning, development, reforms, and special initiatives, said that Pakistanis remain united in difficult times. "All provinces must work together during the drive," he added.
He even thanked China for their support. "Our special relationship keeps getting stronger with time."[iframe width="100%" height="435" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0"marginwidth="0" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tsNNXngNn_s"]
Watch the video below to know how you can get the COVID-19 vaccine in Pakistan.
Chinese vaccine maker CanSino Biologics has offered 20 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Pakistan, Bloomberg reported Friday.
The company is also close to releasing the results of its vaccine’s final-stage clinical trials that were being conducted in Pakistan, Russia, Mexico, and Chile.
Bloomberg quoted a technical adviser at AJM Pharma Pvt Hasan Abbas Zaheer saying that Pakistan will receive preferential access and pricing.
There might be a 25% decrease in procurement costs as the company claims it will fill vaccine vials in Pakistan.
“We need to keep in mind that this coronavirus vaccine is a very scarce commodity, highly in demand, and you know the other countries many months ago started the advance booking, we also need to do the same, we are already late on that,” said Zaheer in a phone interview.
On January 30, Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar said that Pakistan will receive 17 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from COVAX in the first half of 2021.
Pakistan will get about 6 million vaccines by March. Their delivery will start in February.
In the second phase, he said, people above the age of 65 years will be inoculated by the end of February.
Registration to receive the doses will start soon, according to Umar.