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ISLAMABAD: The United States has announced to send 2.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Pakistan.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are being sent to help Islamabad in the fight against the pandemic.
She further said the US is sending 1.5 million doses of Moderna to Honduras, 2 million doses to Peru this week due to US President Biden’s commitment to playing a leading role in ending the pandemic.
Earlier in June, President Joe Biden had announced his plans to allocate 75 percent of unused COVID-19 vaccines through the UN-backed Covax global vaccine sharing programme.
The White House unveiled the allocation for sharing the first 25 million doses with the world. The US has said it plans to share 80 million vaccine doses globally by the end of June. The administration says 25 percent will be reserved for emergencies and for the US to share directly with allies and partners.
“As long as this pandemic is raging anywhere in the world, the American people will still be vulnerable,” Biden said in a statement. “And the United States is committed to bringing the same urgency to international vaccination efforts that we have demonstrated at home.”
Last week, it was reported that Pakistan is likely to receive Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine doses in the coming months through COVAX — the World Health Organisation’s vaccine sharing programme.
The Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination had said that talks were underway with COVAX to acquire the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. However, there has been no confirmation how many doses would be received by Pakistan.
Pakistan recently received 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine through the COVAX facility but they are being administered to people who are immunocompromised and foreign travellers.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has made an agreement to procure 13 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer. The agreement was signed by Pfizer Pakistan and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to supply 13 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Special Assistant on National Health Services Faisal Sultan said the doses would arrive by the end of 2021 under an agreement the government has made with the manufacturer.
Pakistan has primarily used Chinese vaccines — Sinopharm, CanSinoBio and Sinovac — in its inoculation drive. Earlier his month, it began allowing those under 40 to receive AstraZeneca.
Earlier this month Pakistan approved spending $1.1 billion on procuring vaccines, part of its goal to inoculate at least 70 million people. Pfizer and BioNTech aim to manufacture more than three billion doses of the vaccine globally by the end of this year.