1.5 million SinoVac doses bought from China arrive in Islamabad

Asad promises millions of doses in 10 days as stocks deplete in vaccination centres across Pakistan

By: News Desk      Published: 10:38 AM, 20 Jun, 2021
1.5 million SinoVac doses bought from China arrive in Islamabad
A PIA plane lands at Islamabad Airport carrying a vaccine shipment from China.

While Pakistan was facing a shortage of Covid-19 vaccine and has shut several vaccination centres across the country, the succor has at least reached with the arrival of 1.5 million doses of SinoVac vaccine, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

According to the National Command and Operation Centre, 1.55 million doses of SinoVac reached Pakistan on Sunday through a special PIA flight that landed at Islamabad Airport. The NCOC said that Pakistan bought these doses from China.

It further informed that Pakistan would acquire 2.3 million more doses next week. It said that the vaccine jabs would be provided to provinces and vaccination centres as per their demands. 

According to the NCOC, this is a part of the planned contracted quantity purchased from China. China as time-tested friend of Pakistan has taken special measures to ensure the uninterrupted supply of vaccines to Pakistan. Another consignment of 2-3 Million doses of Chinese vaccines will reach Pakistan next week. 

A view of the empty vaccination facility at Lahore's Expo Centre.

The country was facing an acute shortage of Covid-19 vaccine as stock were dipping in all the major cities including Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Mardan, Hyderabad, Bahawalpur, Mianwali and Dera Ghazi Khan while the government was saying the shortage will be ended as the Federal Minister for Planning and Development has assured that 1.5 million doses were arriving Sunday.

In Hyderabad, almost all vaccination centres have been shut down. According to Health Ministry, as many as 6,000 people were being inoculated at 21 centers in the city which are now closed. 

In Nawabshah, people had to leave the vaccination centres without getting vaccine jabs. 

In Mardan, 20 vaccination centres were closed due to vaccine shortage. DHO Kachkol said that the vaccine supply would arrive on Sunday night. He said from Monday more inoculation would be done than usual. 

See Also: Facing vaccine shortfall, Pakistan places order for 27.5m more doses

As the shortage of coronavirus vaccine worsened, most of the vaccination centres have been shut down in Karachi. Sources in Sindh Health Department divulged that the small vaccination centers have been closed down to maintain the vaccine supply to the main vaccination centers in all the districts. Thirty of the 40 vaccination centers of Karachi’s District South have been shut down, said DHO South Office.

DHO District West Office said 21 vaccination centers also stopped functioning due to the shortage of the Covid jabs. Only Mass Centre at the Qatar Hospital are offering jabs, he added.

Yesterday, the Sindh government decided to shut down vaccination process on Sunday (today). 

In Lahore, the 24 hours vaccination facility centre could not provide doses to the people owing to the paucity of Covid-19 vaccine. People waited in queues for hours for getting vaccine jabs but they had to leave without success. Even the center administration maltreated them and shoveled them out of the centre. 

At PIMS Hospital, Islamabad, people could not get vaccine shots. In Rawalpindi, 7 vaccination centers have been locked. 

In Multan, people could not even get their first dose for the straight third day. The vaccination center set up at Quad-i-Azam Academy, Multan, was shut down. 

Bahawalpur has been facing vaccine shortage for the last two days. Centers are open but they have no vaccine. People who want to go to Saudi Arabia are desperate as they unable to get the shots. 

In Mianwali, vaccination for overseas Pakistanis is not being done. 

See Also: Pakistan logs 37 more coronavirus deaths, 1,050 infections in a day

IN Dera GHazi Khan, people quarreled with health department staff, accusing them of taking bribes for vaccination. 

In Gujranwala, the vaccine rollout is also stopped putting people who intend to travel abroad in an awkward position. 

However, the government announced that the vaccine dearth would be tackled with the arrival of the new consignment of Covid doses

Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said in his tweet on Sunday that last week (June 12-18), more than 2.3 million vaccinations were done at a rate of 332,877 per day. "This is the highest so far in any week. With 1.5 million vaccines arrivied and another almost 5 million in next 10 days, Insha'Allah next week will be a new record. Well done Pakistan."

Reporters Saghir Chaudhry, Ali Hamza and Manzoor Hussain