Pakistan gets first AstraZeneca vaccine shipment under COVAX facility

By: News Desk      Published: 01:24 PM, 8 May, 2021
Shipment in Pakistan
File photo.

The first consignment of European vaccine AstraZeneca has reached Pakistan today, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

According to Health Ministry, 1.238 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine under the facility of COVAX have reached Islamabad International Airport on Saturday. Another shipment is expected to arrive in June along with Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine doses. 

The Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine is arriving in Pakistan from a non-Indian source. Pakistan has managed to get his shipment from South Korea by inserting its influence with other partner organizations. 

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The COVAX programme has committed 45 million doses to Pakistan up to the end of 2021, and deliveries were meant to start in March. However Serum Institute of India (SII), making the AstraZeneca vaccination, halted supplies due to its own worsening COVID-19 situation. However, Pakistan purchased 13 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from three Chinese companies, Sinopharm, CanSinoBio (6185.HK) and Sinovac. 

Only slightly more than 2 million people have been vaccinated so far in the country of 220 million people, the lowest rate in South Asia.

See Also: Pakistan posts 4,109 new corona infections, 120 deaths in a day

Pakistan started a vaccination drive in February with 1.2 million doses donated by China, and was able to procure over 4 million doses from China in April. 

Pakistan is battling with third wave of coronavirus. Its positivity rate is 9.5% and number of confirmed cases is 850,131. Total 18,677 people died of Covid-19 and 747,755 recovered so far. 

Reporter Saba Bajeer