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Friday, April 19, 2024

Pakistan to get 17.2mn doses of COVID-19 vaccine, confirms Covax

According to Covax countries will receive doses in proportion to population size. As per this principle, Pakistan is like to receive 17.2 million doses.

Covax has clarified that countries will receive doses in proportion to population size, with the most going to India (97.2 million), Pakistan (17.2 million), Nigeria (16 million), Indonesia (13.7 million), Bangladesh (12.8 million) and Brazil (10.6 million).

WHO immunisation programme coordinator Ann Lindstrand said priority was given to countries that had not started vaccinating, while health worker deaths in January were also factored in.

Covax is co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Gavi vaccine alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

The Covax programme to ensure equitable worldwide access to Covid-19 vaccines on Wednesday published its first distribution list, with enough doses for countries to immunise more than three percent of their populations by mid-2021. The distribution plan comes with lower-income countries falling behind in the vaccination race — a problem Covax was set up to address.

It broke down how the programme’s initial 337.2 million doses will be distributed, with first deliveries expected in late February.

Some 145 countries are set to receive enough doses to immunise 3.3 percent of their collective population by mid-2021, Covax said. A statement said the initial distribution was in line with a target “to protect the most vulnerable groups such as health care workers” in the first half of the year.

“Soon we’ll be able to start delivering life-saving vaccines globally — an outcome we know is essential if we’re to have any chance of being able to beat this pandemic,” Gavi chief executive Seth Berkeley told a news conference.

Other big recipients are Ethiopia (8.9 million), the Democratic Republic of Congo (6.9 million), Mexico (6.5 million), the Philippines (5.6 million) and Egypt (5.1 million).

For the 92 lower- and lower-middle-income economies involved in Covax, funding is covered through donations, while for richer countries, buying into bulk purchases operates like a back-up insurance policy for their own vaccination programmes.

Read more: WHO says ‘will do everything’ to find Covid-19 origins

The Pfizer-BioNTech doses — requiring special ultra-cold storage — are destined for 18 countries by the end of March, with Colombia, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, South Korea and Ukraine getting the most at 117,000 doses each.

The other scheduled recipients are Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cape Verde, El Salvador, Georgia, Maldives, Moldova, Mongolia, the Palestinian Territories, Rwanda and Tunisia.

Covax aims to secure enough vaccines for at least the most vulnerable 20 per cent in participating countries by the end of 2021.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Federal Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar had said last week that Pakistan will likely get 17 million AstraZeneca doses of COVID-19 vaccination within the first half of current year countrywide covid vaccination drive

Turning to social media via his official Twitter handle, the federal minister announced, “Good news on covid vaccine front.” He added that Pakistan received a response letter from Covax which indicated “supply of up to 17 million doses of AstraZeneca in 1st half 2021”.

Federal minister Asad Umar further added that the deliveries of these vaccines will begin in February with about 6 million of AstraZeneca doses received by March.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday launched Pakistan’s anti-Covid vaccination drive, with the first jab administered to a doctor at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad.

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Pakistan has recorded 56 more coronavirus-related deaths in past 24 hours, surging the overall death toll to 11,802. According to the latest statistics of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the COVID-19 has claimed 56 more lives and 1,384 fresh infections were reported. In the past 24 hours, as many as 1,509 patients have recovered from the virus in a day and 2,016 patients are still in critical condition.

The total count of active cases is 33,184. According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), with fresh inclusion of the infections in the country the national tally of cases now currently stands at 549,032.