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Sunday May 09 2021

Coronavirus: 1 million more doses of Sinovac vaccine arrive in Pakistan from China

  • Another consignment of the COVID-19 vaccines has arrived in Pakistan from China.
  • Sources say 1 million doses of China's Sinovac vaccine reached Islamabad on Sunday.
  • A total of 15 consignments carrying COVID-19 vaccine doses have so far reached Pakistan from China.

ISLAMABAD: Another consignment of the vaccines has reached Pakistan from China as the country continues to battle the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to sources, a special plane of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) — flight 6852 — has reached Islamabad with 1 million doses of China's Sinovac vaccine. 

Read this too: Explainer: Is China’s Sinovac coronavirus vaccine less effective?

A total of 15 consignments carrying COVID-19 vaccine doses have so far reached Pakistan from China.

Earlier, PIA, in a statement, said vaccines were loading on three PIA Boeing 777 planes and they would arrive in Pakistan from China on Sunday. At that time, however, the airline had not specified which vaccine brand was being brought to the country.

Last month, a Pakistan Air Force plane carrying 0.5 million Chinese-based company SinoVac's vaccine doses had landed at the Nur Khan Airbase in Islamabad.

 Meanwhile, the first shipment of the British coronavirus vaccine AstraZeneca also arrived in Pakistan on May 8 brought under the COVAX facility. The first consignment of the vaccine includes 1,248,400 doses of the vaccine.

Meanwhile, a report says that so far, more than 3.5 million people in Pakistan have been vaccinated against the virus. 

Target to vaccinate 70m by year-end

Although the government is yet to acquire more vaccines for coronavirus, it is still hoping to vaccinate at least 70 million people by the end of this year, according to a report by The News.

Despite the bottlenecks, Pakistani officials are confident that the daily vaccination may hit 100,000 persons per day soon. They are also expecting that the vaccination will reach 200,000 per day in the coming weeks and months as it is gaining momentum in the country.

The PTI-led government has so far approved $150 million for procurement of vaccines for the COVID-19 pandemic and another formal summary will be forwarded to get an approval of $90 million for this purpose obtained from the Islamic Development Bank.

In totality, the allocated amount will go up to $240 million to obtain the vaccine that had become scarce in all countries.

Pakistan to locally produce vaccine

Pakistan will start the local production of CanSinoBio's coronavirus vaccine next month, the National Institute of Health's officials had said earlier in the day.

The development comes after 100,00 people were vaccinated in a day for the first time in Pakistan yesterday.

The NIH officials said the arrangements to prepare CanSinoBio's coronavirus vaccine were done, while the raw material for the vaccine would reach Pakistan in early May.

The official said they were hopeful that the single-dose vaccine would be available by the end of May for public inoculation.

Featured image: APP