On Saturday evening, Dr Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services, announced that Pakistan has finally secured 17 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. He added that about 6 million will be available in the first quarter of 2021, and the rest in the second quarter.
The successful procurement of the vaccine is being made possible due to the COVAX facility, a global COVID-19 vaccine allocation by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Commission, and developed nations of the global North to provide access to vaccines to developing countries.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar also confirmed the development.
The doses would be of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has already been cleared for use by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP). 35-40% of the 17 million doses, which is roughly 6-6.8 million doses, are expected to be delivered within the first quarter of 2021, and the government expects to have the vaccine in Pakistan by end of February. The rest of the vaccines would be delivered by the second quarter of 2021.
So far Pakistan has had 543,214 confirmed cases of COVID-19, out of which 11,623 people lost their lives.
Over the last 24 hours, 2,179 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan, according to data released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC). Meanwhile, 65 people lost their lives to the virus, of which 58 died while being hospitalised