KARACHI: Special Adviser to Prime Minister on Planning Asad Umar has announced that 17 million doses of AstraZeneca would also be made available to Pakistanis and their delivery would begin in Feb. On his twitter handle, Umar said, “Good news on Covid vaccine front. Recieved letter from Covax of indicative supply of up to 17 million doses of AstraZeneca in 1st half 2021. About 6 million will be received by March with delivery starting in Feb. We signed with Covax nearly 8 months back to ensure availability.”
Meanwhile, COVID-19 vaccination to around half a million frontline healthcare workers would commence simultaneously across Pakistan on Wednesday, including Islamabad and four provincial capitals as half a million doses of Chinese vaccine Sinopharm would begin arriving in the country by a special aircraft at the Noor Khan Air Base, Rawalpindi, on Sunday night, The News has learnt.
The ceremonies for inaugural inoculation of Chinese vaccine Sinopharm to doctors, nurses, paramedics and a member of janitorial staff have been planned in Islamabad and provincial capitals of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to be presided over by respective chief ministers. SAPM Dr. Sultan told The News that these ceremonies could be held ‘either on Wednesday or Thursday’. However, in Islamabad, either the Prime Minister Imran Khan or in his absence Asad Umar or SAPM on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan would be the chief guest.
Over 400,000 healthcare workers are already registered with the government for the inoculation while government officials said there were around half a million frontline healthcare workers, who would be vaccinated on priority basis after inoculation to the first group. Officials said ceremonies to vaccinate frontline healthcare workers in Sindh and Punjab would be held at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC), Karachi and Mayo Hospital, Lahore respectively while identification of vaccination centers in Quetta and Peshawar was underway.
On the other hand, Sindh government announced to start Covid-19 vaccination of frontline health care workers from coming Wednesday in 10 severely Covid hit districts of province. Besides the seven districts of Karachi, the vaccine would be made available in Hyderabad, Shaheed Benazirabad and Jamshoro. The Provincial Minister for Information Syed Nasir Hussain Shah made this announcement in press conference on Friday. He said that a private donor group has also committed to provide Astra Zeneca and Pfizer vaccines for 20 percent population of Pakistan.