Pakistan to offer COVID-19 vaccine free of cost by April 2021

Frontline health workers and elderly to get the dose first in Pakistan

The Parliamentary Secretary on Health Nausheen Hamid said that the coronavirus vaccine will be available from April 2021 and will be provided free of cost. She also discussed the phase three trials of the Chinese vaccine being carried out in Pakistan. Hamid said that the vaccine, which is being developed by CanSino Biologics, will only be made available to the masses once its efficacy is proven.

“PTI government will provide the coronavirus vaccine free of cost to the people. The government will start the vaccination from the second quarter of 2021,” she tweeted.

Pakistan has signed up for the UN’s Covax Facility, a global initiative aimed at equitable access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines worldwide. Hamid said that vaccines at low or cheap rates would be available at Covax. “Pakistan will also buy vaccines from the Covax platform.” Pakistan may be able to secure the free vaccine in the third quarter of 2021, as per some media reports.

About 20% of Pakistan’s population will be able to get vaccinated from the vaccine from Covax. A fund of $100 million has been approved by the government for this purpose.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Health Dr. Faisal Sultan added that in the first phase the vaccine will be administered to people over the age of 60.

Pakistan is currently suffering from a second wave of the novel coronavirus. Around three thousand new cases are being reported every day with active cases now more than 50,000. The risk of COVID-19 getting out of control in Pakistan is a serious threat. As the vaccine’s mass availability is only a few months away, it is high time that the people pay heed to the warnings from the government and follow the SOPs.  

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