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First coronavirus vaccine tranche to arrive in Pakistan from China today

A special plane has been sent to China to bring back to Pakistan its first tranche of coronavirus vaccines, Radio Pakistan reported on Sunday. 

The development was discussed at a meeting of the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) held in Islamabad.

The coronavirus monitoring centre discussed in detail about the government’s vaccine administration strategy across Pakistan, administrative measures, and particularly the movement of the initial tranche of the vaccine.

Earlier this month, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) gave the authorisation for both — the Chinese-manufactured Sinopharm, and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

A day earlier, NCOC chief Asad Umar on Saturday broke the good news that COVAX has indicated a supply of up to 17 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for Pakistan in the first half of 2021.

Read more: ‘Good news’: Asad Umar says Pakistan can expect 17 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine this year

“Good news on COVID vaccine front. Received a letter from COVAX of [an] indicative supply of up to 17 million doses of AstraZeneca in 1st half 2021,” Umar wrote on Twitter.

According to the planning minister, six million of the total 17 million doses will be received by March with delivery starting in February. He did not specify any dates.

“We signed with COVAX nearly eight months back to ensure availability,” he added.

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