KARACHI – Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Saeed Ahmed Al-Malki on Friday assured Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah that the Kingdom would include Chinese vaccines to its list of approved COVID-19 shots for Hajj pilgrims.
The Saudi envoy gave the assurance during a meeting with the chief minister when he requested the Arab country to approve the Chinese vaccines as Pakistan has mostly administered the jabs of these vaccines in the government-run drive.
The chief minister said that Saudi Arabi’s announcement to not include the Chinese vaccine in the list of approved shots has caused disappointment among Pakistanis, who want to perform Hajj this year.
As per the reports, the Kingdom has approved vaccines Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson for those who intend to travel there.
Saudi Arabia is among the few countries that are hesitant to approve the Chinese vaccines despite the fact they have been recognized by the World Health Organisation.
Earlier this week, WHO approved a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech for emergency use, the second China-made vaccine listed by the global body.
The announcement endorses the safety and efficacy of the product, which is branded as Coronavac in some countries, besides paving the way for the Chinese shot to be used in poor countries.
Previously, the organisation had listed China-made Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use. It is already included in COVAX.