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Pakistan expects to get first coronavirus vaccine shipment by end of this month

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Representational image. — AFP/Files

Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of National Health Services Dr Nausheen Hamid has said that the country will receive the first coronavirus vaccine shipment by the end of this month.

According to Radio Pakistan, Dr Hamid said that the government was “urgently” drafting a database of all public and private medical workers to get them inoculated in the first phase.

However, the publication did not specify which vaccine and from which country Pakistan would get it.

China’s Sinopharm vaccine

A week earlier, science minister Fawad Chaudhry said Pakistan would purchase 1.2 million doses of coronavirus vaccine from China’s Sinopharm.

“The Cabinet Committee has decided to initially purchase 1.2 million doses of the vaccine from the Chinese company Sinopharm, which will be provided free of cost to frontline workers in the first quarter of 2021,” the science minister said on Twitter.

Last month, China had approved a COVID-19 vaccine developed by an affiliate of state-backed pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm, its first approved shot for general public use.

Sindh health minister foresees delay

On January 5, Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho said that the Centre had hinted that the procurement of the COVID-19 vaccine could be delayed.

“The PTI-led federal government has reported that it will take time for the coronavirus vaccine to arrive,” Dr Pechuho said, adding that it was earlier announced that the drug would be available after January 15.

The Sindh minister explained that the provincial government would formulate a comprehensive policy on the coronavirus vaccines, adding that arrangements in that regard had been completed as well.

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