NCOC satisfied over COVID-19 vaccine availability in Pakistan

NCOC satisfied over COVID-19 vaccine availability in Pakistan

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A paramedic prepares a dose of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine before administering it to a resident, at a vaccination center in Karachi, Pakistan April 1, 2021. — Reuters/File
A paramedic prepares a dose of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine before administering it to a resident, at a vaccination center in Karachi, Pakistan April 1, 2021. — Reuters/File
  • Pakistan has so far procured 21.13 million vaccines.
  • 17 million vaccines have been purchased.
  • Federating units have discretion to plan summer holidays.

The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) on Tuesday expressed satisfaction over the coronavirus vaccine availability in the country, a statement from the forum said.

The development came during an NCOC session held in Islamabad, with National Coordinator Lt Gen Hamood-uz-Zaman Khan in the chair. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan and Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt Gen Akhtar Nawaz Satti were in attendance.

During the meeting, the forum discussed the rollout plan of three million Sinovac vaccine doses that are scheduled to arrive today from China through a procurement plan for the month of June, the statement said.

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“Chairman NDMA briefed [the meeting] on efforts put in for procurement plan of vaccines out of the allotted budget of US$ 1.2 billion,” the statement said, adding the forum reiterated that all federating units could procure vaccine at their end.

So far, Pakistan has procured 21.13 million vaccines manufactured by different companies. Out of the total, 17 million were purchased, the statement said.

Next, the forum expressed concerns over the rising coronavirus positivity ratio in Gilgit-Baltistan and emphasised on stringent implementation of SOPs with regards to tourism in the Northern region of the country.

“It was reiterated that federating units have the discretion of planning summer holidays in their respective educational institutions,” the statement added.

US to send 2.5m doses to Pakistan

The Biden administration is shipping 2 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to Peru and 2.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Pakistan, White House press secretary Jen Psaki had said on Monday.

“Thanks to the President’s commitment to playing a leading role in ending the pandemic everywhere, 2 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine will begin to ship to Peru from the United States, and 2.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine will ship to Pakistan,” Psaki said.

The vaccine shortage

SAPM Dr Faisal Sultan on June 16 had said that the government was making sincere efforts to ensure the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine at all vaccination centres and more doses were expected to arrive soon.

In a media briefing, he dismissed talk of vaccines having run out in Pakistan as “hearsay” and said that shortages were a “global phenomenon”. 

The vaccine situation in the country would improve after June 20 when more vaccines would reach Pakistan, the special assistant had said. 

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