Islamabad [Pakistan], 12 March: Pakistan would get a total of 16 million free doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, being manufactured in India, through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi) for inoculating 45 million people, officials told Public Accounts Committee (PAC), according to The Express Tribune.
The PAC was informed that the country was relying mostly on free doses being provided by the Gavi to inoculate the citizens against the coronavirus as the Chinese-made vaccine CanSino would cost USD 13 or around Pakistani Rs 2,000 per person.
According to the officials, Pakistan would receive the first batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India by mid-March and the rest of it is expected to arrive by June.
During the PAC meeting, headed by its Chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain, the officials of the Ministry of National Health Services and the National Institute of Health (NIH) said that Pakistan would get a total of 16 million free doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, which is being manufactured in India, through Gavi for inoculating 45 million people against the yearly target of 70 million.
The health ministry and the NIH officials apprised PAC that phase three of the CanSino vaccine trials was completed for the first time in Pakistan with 75 per cent efficacy, and that a total of 18,000 people were inoculated, The Express Tribune reported.
It further reported that the health authorities said that no serious buyers from the private sector had come forward as the applications received so far were incomplete. The applicants, they said, had not even stated which vaccine and how many doses they wanted to import, and where they planned to administer them.
Parliamentary Secretary Health Dr Nausheen Hamid had said that the government secured vaccines for 45 million people through the Gavi Covax facility and had taken urgent measures to purchase additional vaccines for 10 million people for which the cabinet approved USD 150 million.