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Pakistan to receive 17 million COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX: minister


Pakistan will receive 17 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from COVAX in the first half of 2021, Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar said Saturday.

Umar said he received a letter from COVAX — a global
initiative aiming to ensure equitable access to vaccines for all countries —
confirming indicative supply of the vaccines.

Pakistan will get about 6 million vaccines by March,
according to the minister. Their delivery will start in February.

The government signed an agreement with COVAX in 2020 to ensure the availability of vaccines in Pakistan.

Frontline health workers will be the first to receive the
shots, the minister told SAMAA TV. In the second phase, he said, people above
the age of 65 years will be inoculated by the end of February.

Registration to receive the doses will start soon, according to Umar. Younger people will be gradually vaccinated in the third phase.

A special plane will also fly from Pakistan to China on
Sunday to bring the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, the National Command and
Operation Centre said. China has donated 500,000 vaccines to Pakistan.

All necessary measures for vaccine storage, distribution and
administration are in place in Islamabad, according to the NCOC.

The administration strategy for the initial tranche across
all provinces has been finalised.



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