Vaccine procurement

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IN the backdrop of widespread criticism of government policy to procure Covid-19 vaccines, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Health Dr Faisal Sultan has made a morale boosting statement that deals have already been signed for procurement of over 30 million doses besides movement towards local production of a vaccine.

In a briefing on Monday, he said for the first half of the year i.e., from January to June 2021, Pakistan has and expects to receive 19.82 million doses of vaccines offering protection against COVID-19.

The figures released by the Special Assistant make it clear that government was not oblivious to its responsibility about availability of required number of doses in the country as it is working hard on procurement front despite financial constraints and tough competition.

The country is presently vaccinating 150,000 people daily and in view of greater awareness among citizens the target to vaccinate 300,000 people has been fixed, which is a remarkable achievement.

Though there would be no shortage of vaccines in immediate context, yet plan for local manufacturing of the single dose Chinese vaccine will have to be expedited as presently immunisation is the only option to deal effectively with the situation caused by rapid spread of the virus.

People of Pakistan are thankful to China, which has proved to be a strong partner and has gone out of its way in keeping up a supply chain and transferring technology to Pakistan.

China was one of the first countries that donated Corona Virus vaccine to Pakistan and the country is currently using mostly Chinese-made vaccines in its inoculation drive.

COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa also acknowledged this fact during his meeting with Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong when he thanked Beijing for its valuable contribution in Pakistan’s fight against Corona Virus.

It is hoped that Chinese cooperation as well as plans to accelerate pace of vaccination and strict enforcement of SOPs will yield positive results.