Vaccine procurement is being carried out to keep the inoculation process smooth, health ministry officials say
The federal government aims to procure more than 30 million vaccine doses in August, Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination officials said Tuesday.
The officials said the vaccine procurement was being carried out in a bid to keep the inoculation process smooth as the country ramps up vaccination to battle the fourth COVID-19 wave.
The statement comes as Pakistan on Monday had achieved the one-million daily doses’ mark, with Islamabad becoming the first city to get 50% of its eligible population vaccinated with at least one dose.
Separately, the World Bank has reallocated $150 million for Pakistan to procure COVID-19 vaccines, South Asia Regional Vice President (SARVP), World Bank Hartwig Schafer said.
Talking to the Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin at the Finance Division, the vice president said: "The WB is fully committed to providing assistance to the developing countries for the procurement of the COVID-19 vaccines and for the purpose, $150 million have been reallocated for Pakistan".
Pakistan's Country Director World Bank Najy Benhassine and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Waqar Masood were also present in the meeting.
Parliamentary Secretary of National Health Services Dr Nausheen Hamid had said there is no shortage of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
"I am confident that the whole population will get vaccinated by December 2021," she said while speaking to a private news channel.
The government is moving steadily for vaccine procurement deals and also scaling up the national vaccination programme. "People should get themselves vaccinated as early as possible."
The government would soon revise the programme and teens under age 17 would get priority, Hamid said, adding several countries are administering Sinophram vaccine to people under 17.
Responding to a question, she said the government was not considering inoculating the third vaccine dose — or booster shot — to the people, however, several countries had started it.