fbpx mmnews

PIA airlifts one million COVID-19 vaccine doses from China

ISLAMABAD: Three aircraft of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) carrying a consignment of one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine left Beijing on Sunday for Pakistan.

Another consignment of two million doses of Covid-19 vaccine will also be transported from China by the national flag carrier on April 29, said PIA Country Manager for China Qadir Bux Sangi. He said two special planes and a PIA regular flight was used to airlift the corona vaccine doses from China.

A day ago, Pakistan Air Force special plane carrying 0.5 million doses of Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine arrived from China, The special plane carrying the vaccine arrived at Islamabad’s Nur Khan Airbase. This was the eighth Covid-19 vaccine consignment that arrived from China. 

On Friday, another PAF plane carrying 500,000 Chinese-based company SinoVac’s vaccine doses landed in Islamabad. The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) issued a statement clarifying that Pakistan has paid for the vaccine doses and it was not a donation from China.

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), earlier this month, had granted emergency authorisation to the SinoVac’s vaccine CoronaVac despite the lowest efficacy to counter the third wave of the pandemic.

Pakistan has already begun vaccinating elderly people aged above 60-year-old and health professionals. The vaccination of people in the age group 50-59 has also been started from April 21.

The National Command and Operation Centre started registering citizens above 50 years of age for COVID-19 vaccination from March 30.

Pakistan began a vaccination drive last month with over a million doses of Sinopharm vaccines donated by China. Islamabad received first COVID-19 vaccine consignment after a military aircraft airlifted it from Beijing on February 1 this year.