Friday May 28 2021
Web Desk

100,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine arrive in Pakistan through COVAX: UNICEF

Web Desk
The Pfizer vaccine doses being offloaded in Islamabad, on May 28, 2021. — Photo courtesy UNICEF Pakistan

More than 100,000 doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine have arrived in Pakistan through the COVAX facility, UNICEF Pakistan reported on Friday.

The doses reached Islamabad this morning with the help of UNICEF, it said, in a statement on Facebook.

UNICEF said that a consignment containing diluents as well as syringes is expected in the next two days.

The Pfizer vaccine will be utilised across the country in the ongoing vaccination campaign, it said.

Today's consignment marks the second shipment to have arrived through the COVAX facility. The first, which arrived on May 8, contained 1,248,400 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

COVAX is a global vaccine-sharing programme co-led by the World Health Organisation, the Gavi vaccine alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

It has pledged 17.2 million doses to Pakistan.

Pakistan opens vaccination to all adults

The government on Wednesday opened up its coronavirus vaccination campaign to everyone aged 19 or older.

Pakistan initially had to deal with vaccination hesitancy and a shortage of vaccine supplies and had limited shots to people aged 30 or over.

Follow these steps to get registered for coronavirus vaccine in Pakistan

But with purchases and donations from China and allocations from the World Health Organisation and the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, it has now secured more than 18 million doses and is keen to get them out into the population.

"We decided to open up vaccination registration for all 19 years and above," Asad Umar, minister in-charge of supervising anti-COVID operations, said in a post on Twitter.

People can sign up from Thursday, he said.

"So now registration will be open for the entire national population which is approved by health experts for COVID vaccination," Umar said.

Pakistan has reported more than 900,000 coronavirus infections since the outbreak.

In the last 24 hours, 51,625 tests were conducted for coronavirus out of which 2,482 returned positive.

At least 67 more people have lost their lives to coronavirus in the last 24 hours, pushing the total death tally to 20,607 across the country.

The country has administered 6.7 million vaccine doses with supplies from three Chinese companies — Sinopharm, Sinovac and CanSinbio — and the Oxford-AstraZeneca shots.

Pakistan's private sector has imported nearly 50,000 doses of Russia's Sputnik-V vaccine.

— With additional input from Reuters