Saturday Jan 30, 2021
ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Saturday was informed that a special plane will fly to China tomorrow (Sunday) for the transportation of the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine to Pakistan.
An NCOC morning session deliberated at length the vaccine administration strategy across the country, administrative measures and particularly the supply of the initial doses of the vaccine.
The forum was informed that all necessary measures have been put in place for vaccine storage in Islamabad and for the supply of vaccine to various federating units, particularly to Sindh and Balochistan via air.
A vaccine nerve centre has been established at the NCOC with provincial and district level vaccine administration, coordination centres and adult vaccination centres linked together in close liaison.
China had last week assured Pakistan of the provision of 500,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses by January 31.
"I wish to give this happy news to the nation that China has promised that, God-willing, it will send Pakistan 500,000 doses of the [coronavirus] vaccine by January 31," Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on January 21.
He said the gesture was in "good faith" and that Beijing planned to send more by February 2021.
Although it is not known which vaccine will be arriving, Qureshi in his message wrote that Pakistan has approved emergency use of a vaccine developed by SinoPharm, which suggests it may be the one being sent by China.
Sinopharm, a state-run Chinese firm, is developing two COVID-19 vaccines. It is unclear which one has been approved by Pakistan.
According to a BBC report, Sinopharm announced on December 30 that phase three trials of the vaccine showed that it was 79% effective.