Pakistan has allocated $250 million to buy the Covid-19 vaccine. The country has also signed unpublished agreements with various multinational companies to ensure vaccination.
According to Dawn’s news report, Pakistan had initially allocated $150 million to buy the vaccine. Later it increased to $250 million.
Nausheen Hamid, parliamentary secretary of Pakistan’s National Health Service (NHS), confirmed the matter to Dawn.
Nausheen Hamid said that agreements are being made with several organizations to ensure that vaccines are available.
Russia recently offered to Pakistan buy the vaccine. As public health is our top priority, attention is being paid to whether the vaccine is safe and effective.
Asked when the vaccine would be available, Nausheen said they hoped it would be available by March.
However, she said, ‘We will not vaccinate everyone. According to the priority list, in the first phase, it will be given to health workers engaged in Covid-19 treatment and people over 65 years of age.
In the second phase, it will be given to other health workers and people above 60 years of age.
Nausheen Hamid hopes that the vaccine will reach all people by the end of next year. A senior health ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity said agreements had been reached with a few more organizations besides contacting the 6 international organizations involved in making the vaccine.
The official said, “Pakistan is experimenting with Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccines. We hope to get the country vaccinated on a priority basis.
As assured by various organizations, we can get 100,000-500,000 doses of vaccine by the end of February or March.
Asked why the Covid-19 vaccine could not be introduced this month or early next year, she said Pakistan was a developing country and there were some risks that could lead to a waste of funds.