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Pakistan to receive second consignment of Sinopharm vaccine tomorrow

Pakistan to begin coronavirus vaccine clinical trials

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will receive another consignment of the Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine on Monday (tomorrow).

According to sources, half a million doses of the vaccine will be brought to Pakistan via a special flight of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force on February 8. 

A government official said that more details regarding the vaccine cannot be provided as it is an “army-to-army” collaboration between Pakistan and China.

It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan had already received 500,000 doses of the Chinese vaccine, which is being used to inoculate frontline healthcare workers in the country. So far, over 12,000 frontline healthcare workers have already been vaccinated.

Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced that China had promised to provide 500,000 doses of a coronavirus vaccine to Pakistan by January 31.

The foreign minister held a telephonic conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi said that China has offered Pakistan to send an airplane and airlift the vaccine doses. He said China gifted half a million virus doses to Pakistan, thanking “friend” Beijing for its generosity.

Qureshi told his Chinese counterpart that Pakistan requires 1.1 million doses of the vaccine due to its large population, adding that the Chinese side also promised to make available the required quantity of the doses by the end of next month.

He said China has also agreed to manufacture the vaccine in Pakistan. China has played an instrumental role in Pakistan’s fight against COVID19 with technical assistance and medical expertise, he added.

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) on January 18 had authorized China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in Pakistan, making it the second vaccine to get local approval. Pakistan also granted allowed to use the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use.

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