Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Monday Pakistan will receive 15 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine from the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) COVAX scheme as the country continues to battle the pandemic’s third wave.
Qureshi took to Twitter to announce the development after his meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
“Following my meeting with Foreign Minister @HeikoMaas, I am happy to announce that Pakistan will receive 15 million doses of the #COVID vaccine under COVAX, with a commitment for these to be delivered by May,” FM Qureshi said in a tweet.
FM Qureshi is in Berlin with a delegation on a two-day official visit to celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations with Germany.
The development comes as there were reports of a delayed AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine delivery to Pakistan, as India had diverted the supplies to meet its domestic needs, with the third wave of the virus leading to a surge in coronavirus cases across the world.
The Serum Institute of India (SII) — which is supplying vaccine doses to the COVAX programme — diverted its supplies to meet India’s needs, officials had told The News.
Meanwhile, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to another Chinese vaccine, CoronaVac, a DRAP official had told The News.
This would be the fifth coronavirus vaccine and the third Chinese vaccine to be used in Pakistan.
Two Chinese and one Russian vaccine are being used in the public and private sectors.
“The DRAP’s registration board allowed the vaccine as we desperately need vaccines in Pakistan,” a DRAP official told The News.
FM Qureshi has welcomed the plans of new German investment in Pakistan and highlighted the country’s shift in policy from geo-politics to geo-economics could turn out to be a “great opportunity for German companies”.
FM Qureshi said Pakistan wanted to “deepen, broaden and transform” its economic relations with Germany.
Yesterday, Pakistani Ambassador to Germany Dr Muhammad Faisal and senior officials of the German foreign ministry, and senior embassy officials received Qureshi at the airport.
Speaking at the Berlin airport, FM Qureshi said that he will hold meetings with businessmen and community leaders. He said that over 100,000 Pakistanis live in Germany and are playing a very positive role.