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Monday Jun 21 2021
Web Desk

COVID-19 vaccination resumes in Punjab after supply improves

Web Desk
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  • Pakistan receives 1.5mn doses of COVID-19 vaccines from China, improving supply.
  • Vaccination centres in Karachi still facing shortage.
  • NIH has decided to start large-scale production of PakVac vaccine.

LAHORE: The vaccination process in major Punjab cities has resumed after several days of disruption due to a shortage of COVID-19 jabs.

According to the Lahore deputy commissioner, Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines are available at the centres, while those needing the AstraZeneca jab will have to wait more.

In other Punjab cities, including Bahawalpur and Multan, vaccination started after the country received a shipment of the Sinovac vaccine from China.

However, the situation in Karachi has not improved yet. Several centres are still closed and waiting for the vaccine. Sindh had announced to close all vaccination centres on Sunday.

The mass vaccination centre at Karachi’s Expo Centre is still not fully open. Arts Council of Pakistan President Ahmed Shah said the centre at the ACP will remain closed today.

On Sunday, a special Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight airlifted over 1.55 million doses of the SinoVac vaccine from China. According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the special consignment of the SinoVac vaccine was part of the planned contracted quantity purchased from China.

It added that another consignment of 2-3 million doses of Chinese vaccines would be reaching Pakistan in the next week followed by a continued supply of COVID vaccine tranches.

The NCOC said China as time tested friend of Pakistan has taken special measures to ensure an uninterrupted supply of vaccines to Pakistan. However, measures are in place to transport these vaccines to all federating units according to their requirement.

Large scale production of PakVac vaccine

Meanwhile, the authorities have decided to start large scale production of the PakVac vaccine. The decision has been taken to initiate preparations for the production of the single-dose PakVac from next month, sources told The News.

The National Institute of Health Islamabad will prepare three million doses of PakVac monthly and the government has been informed about the decision, according to sources.

The decision to produce the vaccine on a large scale has been taken in view of the increased demand of the vaccine.

Monthly production of three million vaccine doses will ensure sufficient availability of the corona vaccine jabs, which would significantly reduce the country’s dependence on other countries. The raw material of the vaccine will be provided by China’s CanSino Biologics, they said.