Fawad Chaudhry says Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will become available soon
Pakistan will be able to vaccinate more than 100,000 people against COVID-19 every day in the coming days, says Fawad Chaudhry, the federal minister for science and technology.
A nationwide immunisation drive to inoculate frontline health workers started on Wednesday. The Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine is being used in the first phase as the country awaits supplies of other vaccines.
On Tuesday, the federal government distributed 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.
In a message on Twitter, the minister said the country’s immunisation capacity will increase soon and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will also be available in a few weeks.
Around 40,000 health workers would receive the shot on the first day, Chaudhry had said.
The country will receive 17 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from COVAX in the first half of 2021, Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar said on January 30.
The Astra-Zeneca vaccine is one of the four vaccines approved for emergency use in Pakistan. Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V will also be available here soon. The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan has authorised pharmaceutical company AGP to import the vaccine.
The vaccine developed by Chinese firm CanSino Bio is the fourth vaccine authorised here and its clinical trial has completed successfully in the country. The company has offered 20 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Pakistan.