Asad Umer reveals good news for Pakistanis on the Coronavirus vaccine front

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Asad Umer reveals good news for Pakistanis on the Coronavirus vaccine front

ISLAMABAD - National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) chief Asad Umar announcing ‘good news’ said that Pakistan is expected to receive up to 17 million doses of the Oxfore-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in the first half of 2021.

Taking to Twitter, the planning minister wrote, "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".

He added that six million of the total 17 million jabs will be received by March with delivery starting in February. He did not announce any specific date.

Umar said that Pakistan signed with COVAX – an alliance that has been set up by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and World Health Organization (WHO) in April 2020, nearly eight months back to ensure availability.

Of the 190 participating, Pakistan is among the 92 that qualify for the WHO’s COVAX initiative that ensures “rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, regardless of income level”.

Earlier this month, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) gave go-ahead for the use of the Chinese-manufactured Sinopharm, and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.