In its first purchase of the COVID-19 vaccine, Pakistan is set to buy 7 million doses of Sinopharm and CanSino from China as the South Asian nation experiences a sharp rise in coronavirus infections, reported Press Trust of India.
Earlier, Pakistan has said that it is not planning to buy vaccines anytime soon as it aims to tackle the COVID-19 challenge through herd immunity and donated vaccines from friendly countries like China.
Planning Minister Asad Umar, who also heads the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), on Thursday, however, said that the first consignment would arrive in Pakistan before the end of this month. “We are in the process to procure Sinopharm and CanSino from China. Two batches of the vaccines, including 1 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine, will reach Pakistan by the end of this month,” Umar said.
He said the government was planning to bring more people into the vaccination drive by including those over the age of 50 years from next month. Earlier, only health workers and those above 60 years of age were being vaccinated.
For the first time in eight months, Pakistan reported over 4,000 coronavirus cases on Friday as the third wave of COVID-19 intensified.
The country has recorded 645,356 coronavirus cases. The death toll climbed to 14,091 after 63 more people died in the last one day. On the positive side, the recovery rate is good and so fat 591,145 people recovered.