The first consignment of the COVID-19 vaccine from China has arrived in Pakistan. A special plane of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) landed in Islamabad on Monday morning with 0.5 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine gifted by China.

The vaccine was handed over to Pakistan in a formal ceremony which took place at Noor Khan Airbase at 2pm. Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong attended the ceremony, according to a statement issued by the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC).

The Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health, Dr Faisal Sultan took to Twitter and shared a video of the plane at Noor Khan Airbase. He said, ” I am thankful to Almighty that we received the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine. I am thankful to each and every person for their efforts. NCOC and provinces have played a vital role in the fight against the pandemic.”

Furthermore, he said, “I salute all the health care workers for their efforts and they will be the first one to get the vaccine.”

Minister of Health Yasmin Rashid revealed in a press conference today, that all frontline and healthcare workers will be provided vaccines within the next 4 to 5 months. The process will start the day after tomorrow, and will then continue, she added.

Last week, Asad Umar, head of the NCOC and Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms, and Special Initiatives had announced that “the system for vaccination is in place. Hundreds of vaccination centres in the country will be administering COVID vaccine.”

This vaccine was developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, a subsidiary of state-owned conglomerate Sinopharm. According to preliminary data from last-stage trials shared by the company in December, the vaccine is 79.3% effective. This is a double-dose vaccine and can be stored at 2C to 8C temperatures.


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