Pakistan receives 2.5m Moderna doses from US

Those traveling abroad for work and study to be prioritised for Moderna jabs: Asad Umar

Pakistan has received the first tranche of 2.5 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses from the United States under its partnership with the COVAX global vaccine initiative, UNICEF and the federal government.

This donation is part of the 80 million doses the United States is sharing with the world to facilitate equitable global access to safe and effective vaccines, which are essential to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The United States Mission to Pakistan is pleased to share these safe and effective vaccines with the people of Pakistan,” said U.S. Embassy Chargé d’affaires Angela P. Aggeler. 

“These vaccines will save lives and help Pakistan emerge from this crisis, which has devastated so many families and communities in both our countries. A vaccinated public will also help bring back the economic and social interactions we all welcome.  We appreciate the ongoing collaboration with the Pakistani government and our international partners to make this delivery and these goals a reality” she said.

Pakistan has mostly relied on Chinese vaccines for its vaccination campaign. Later, the country received 1.2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and only 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine as part of the COVAX initiative. Pakistani officials have signed an agreement with Pfizer Pakistan to procure 13 million doses of Pfizer jointly developed by German company BioNTech and US firm Pfizer.

Moderna vaccine to be first given to Pakistanis travelling abroad

Minister Asad Umar, who heads the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) against COVID-19, said that Pakistanis travelling abroad for work and study will first get the Moderna vaccine as some countries are not accepting Chinese vaccines.

Asad Umar earlier regretted said that the health and well-being of people is becoming hostage to global geostrategic rivalries. “Vaccine acceptability decisions should be taken by a global institution like WHO as each country deciding which vaccine is acceptable for travel to that country is creating chaos and confusion,” the NCOC chief said.

Pakistan has administered more than 16.7 million vaccine doses had been since February and “more than 830,000 vaccine [doses] were administered in June” 2021, according to the latest NCOC statement.

Around 100 million people of Pakistan’s total 220 million population is eligible for vaccination, and the country aims to inoculate them by mid-2022. So far, over 3.5 million have been fully vaccinated while over 14 million are partially vaccinated.

Salma Khan
Salma writes on topics ranging from education to technology to business. She can be reached at Twitter and Facebook.

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