On May 8, Pakistan will receive the first batch of 1.238 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, codenamed AZD1222 via COVAX.
A federal government official said, it was confirmed that the consignment will be received this Saturday at the Islamabad International Airport.
Pakistan is receiving the European vaccine from a non-Indian source, the government source said.
“Around 1,238,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca’sCOVID-19 vaccine (Covishield) are arriving on May 8 at the Islamabad Airport. It is the first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine being supplied through COVAX to Pakistan from a non-Indian source.”The National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination official said.
The first tranche of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine was supposed to be received by Pakistan in March but after the surge in their own domestic needs, the supply was delayed after the Serum Institute of India (SII) diverted its supplies.
Pakistan has now managed to get the coronavirus vaccine from South Korea using influence with partner organizations, the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination official said.
In June, a second batch of the coronavirus vaccines has been committed alongside ‘a little over 0.1 million’ of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine doses, the federal government official said, adding that even Moderna’s vaccine could be supplied to Pakistan through COVAX.
“Our timely acquisition of UCC (ultra-cold chain) freezers has put us ahead for Pfizer and Moderna through COVAX.”The official added.
The COVAX vaccine supply situation is likely to improve significantly in the second half of 2021 as more vaccines are likely to be secured by the WHO and EUA, including Chinese vaccines, he said.