The chief of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), Asad Umar, on Saturday broke the good news that COVAX has indicated a supply of up to 17 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for Pakistan in the first half of 2021.
“Good news on COVID vaccine front. Received a letter from COVAX of [an] indicative supply of up to 17 million doses of AstraZeneca in 1st half 2021,” Umar wrote on Twitter.
According to the planning minister, six million of the total 17 million doses will be received by March with delivery starting in February. He did not specify any dates.
“We signed with COVAX nearly eight months back to ensure availability,” he added.
Of the 190 participating economies, Pakistan is among the 92 that qualify for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVAX initiative that ensures “rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, regardless of income level”.
Umar’s announcement comes as a special plane is ready to bring the first batch of the coronavirus vaccines that China has gifted to Pakistan.
More to follow.