Pakistan and Pfizer Pakistan inked a deal on Monday under which Pakistan will get 13 million doses of the American vaccine.
On the other hand, the National Institute of Health has vaccinated nearly 600 diplomats from 57 countries (NIH).
According to a press release from a publicity firm, Pfizer Pakistan and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) inked a deal to provide 13 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (BNT162b2). Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2021.
“We are deeply honoured to work with the Pakistani government and to marshal our scientific and manufacturing resources toward our shared goal of bringing a Covid-19 vaccine to the people of Pakistan as quickly as possible,” said Pfizer Pakistan Country Manager Syed Mohammad Wajeehuddin in a statement.
“In the face of this global health crisis, Pfizer’s purpose — breakthroughs that change patients’ lives — has taken on even greater urgency. Our hope is that our vaccine will help make this happen,” he said.
Sean Marett, BioNTech’s Chief Business and Chief Commercial Officer commended the Pakistani government for its support and confidence in its capacity to create a vaccine that may assist address the worldwide pandemic danger.
“Our goal remains to deliver a global supply of a well-tolerated and effective Covid-19 vaccine for many people around the world, as quickly as we can,” Mr Marett said.
By the end of the year, Pfizer and BioNTech want to have produced more than three billion doses of the vaccine across the world.
In the meanwhile, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) reported 30 fatalities and 907 new cases in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of active patients to 34,020.
There were 2,497 people in hospitals throughout the nation receiving care, including 283 on ventilators.
The NIH vaccinated 630 ambassadors and staff of UN organisations, according to the institute’s records.
According to NIH regulations, only Pakistani citizens were eligible for the free vaccination, but this month it was decided to extend the privilege to ambassadors and staff of UN organisations.
“So far over 630 people from 57 countries have been vaccinated. As per procedure, embassies and UN agencies share the list of employees with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for inoculation. We have established a vaccination centre at the NIH for diplomats and foreigners,” he said.
In response to a query, the official said that the ambassadors were offered a choice of vaccinations and that the majority chose Chinese vaccines.
“Some of the diplomats wanted to be inoculated with AstraZeneca. There was also a demand for Pfizer, but they were told that the American vaccine could only be given to immuno-compromised persons,” he said.
It’s worth noting that 100,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine have already arrived as part of Covax, an international partnership that has promised to provide free vaccination to Pakistan’s 20 per cent population.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi paid a visit to the National Institute of Health on Monday to assess vaccine preparations. Maj Gen Aamer Ikram, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, was also there.
In other news, via USAID Pakistan, the Ministry of National Health Services received the second shipment of emergency medical equipment provided by the US government.
More than 13,500 frontline healthcare workers and 600 ICU and operation theatre personnel would benefit from the cargo, which includes personal protective equipment. The goods will be dispersed in close collaboration with provincial and regional administrations, with medical equipment being delivered to selected secondary and tertiary care institutions beginning next week.