Pakistan to receive 1.2 million AstraZeneca vaccines next week

Pakistan received the first consignment of AstraZeneca vaccine from COVAX.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is expected to receive a batch of 1.236 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine next week.

According to the Ministry of Health, Pakistan will receive AstraZeneca doses under COVAX, making it the fourth batch to be received under the WHO-backed facility.

Pakistan has already received three different consignments of anti-coronavirus vaccine under COVAX. A total of 29 million doses of vaccine have been delivered to Pakistan so far.

Pakistan had received the first consignment of AstraZeneca vaccine from COVAX, the second batch of 160,000 Pfizer vaccines, and the third batch of 2.5 million Moderna vaccines donated by the United States.

The vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, is also highly effective against the Alpha strain of the coronavirus which was first detected in the United States.

Earlier this month, Pakistan received 2.5 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from the United States.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri had said the vaccines will boost the ongoing vaccination drive in Pakistan. “Deeply appreciate continued support by the US in our fight against the pandemic,” he said in a statement.

The United States donated the doses through the global COVAX facility, which aims to provide vaccines to developing countries like Pakistan. Pakistan has so far relied heavily on its ally China to provide vaccines, three of which – Sinopharm, CanSinoBio, and Sinovac – are being used in the country.

Pakistan also plans to purchase 13 million doses of Pfizer vaccine before the end of the year, and the AstraZeneca vaccine is also available in the country.