Management says vaccine expected to be available within a week
People protested the shortage of the Britain-made AstraZeneca vaccine at the Lahore Expo Centre on Monday.
A majority of protesters included overseas Pakistanis or the ones who wish to travel abroad.
They forced their way into the Expo Centre’s hall, where they had a heated exchange of words with the management.
“It has been several days since we are coming here,” one of the protesters said. “They are not administering AstraZeneca vaccine.”
The protesters said they would not leave without getting the jabs.
The management said the vaccine isn’t available at present. It expects to receive AstraZeneca doses within a week.
Pakistanis over 18 years can receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The National Command and Operation Centre last week announced that the vaccine will be available for all adults from now onwards.
The decision was supposed to help those who want to go to Saudi Arabia, as the kingdom is only accepting the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.
Pakistan has achieved a major milestone of more than 10 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine being administered, as per the government’s statistics.
Planning Minister Asad Umar, who heads the NCOC, expressed satisfaction over the vaccination drive. He, however, said the country has a long way to go.
The government aims to vaccinate 70 million people by the end of this year, according to the minister. Currently, 300,000-350,000 people are registering for the vaccine on a daily basis.
Pakistan had earlier reserved the Pfizer COVID-19 for Hajj pilgrims, people with work visas, and students studying abroad.
The federal government has started distributing the vaccine to provinces.
Previously, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said the Pfizer vaccine would be distributed in 15 cities nationwide for people only with low immunity.