Pakistan to receive 1st batch of AstraZeneca


COVAX will deliver the first shipment of 1.238 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, codenamed AZD1222, to Pakistan on May 8.

According to The News, which cited a federal government official, the shipment will arrive at the Islamabad International Airport on Saturday.

According to a government source, Pakistan is getting the European vaccine from a non-Indian source. “Around 1,238,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca’sCOVID-19 vaccine (Covishield) are arriving on May 8 at the Islamabad Airport. It is the first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine being supplied through COVAX to Pakistan from a non-Indian source,” the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination official said.

According to officials, the country was scheduled to receive the first batch of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine via COVAX in March, but delivery was postponed after the Serum Institute of India (SII) redirected supplies to fulfill domestic needs.

According to a National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination official, Pakistan has now obtained the coronavirus vaccine from South Korea through leveraging partnerships.

In June, a second batch of coronavirus vaccinations has been committed, along with “over 0.1 million” doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, according to a federal government official, who added that even Moderna’s vaccine might be sent through COVAX.

In response to a question about whether syringes were also sent to Pakistan with the vaccine, the official said that GAVI deliveries are often packaged with matching amounts of syringes.

“Our timely acquisition of UCC (ultra cold chain) freezers has put us ahead for Pfizer and Moderna through COVAX,” the official added.

COVAX vaccine availability is expected to increase dramatically in the second half of 2021, as further vaccines, including Chinese vaccines, are likely to be secured by the WHO and EUA, he added, adding that COVAX has assured the country of having at least 100,000 doses of Pfizer BioNtech’s mRNA vaccines by June this year.

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