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Pakistan to get 7m coronavirus vaccine doses by April

By Our Correspondent
February 15, 2021

Islamabad : The United Kingdom has announced that Pakistan will receive seven million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine within two months.

“Through the COVAX facility, Pakistan will take the delivery of 17 million doses of the UK-developed Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine shortly with the first seven million expected before April,” the British High Commission said in a statement.

It added that the next tranche of 10 million doses was likely to reach the country by June.

“This [vaccine] will help protect 8.5 million people from the virus, which has already claimed over 12,000 lives in Pakistan,” it said.

The BHC said overall, COVAX, which stood for Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, had committed to supplying Pakistan with vaccines for 45 million people in the current year.

COVAX is an international initiative to support the discovery, manufacture, and fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for one billion people by the end of 2021.

The BHC said the UK’s world-leading support to the global COVID-19 vaccines facility, COVAX, would help protect millions of Pakistanis against coronavirus.

It said the UK had so far committed £548 million to the global COVAX initiative becoming the largest single donor.

“The COVAX initiative is the key way that more than 180 countries will have fair, early access to COVID-19 vaccines,” it said, adding that the UK has encouraged other countries to contribute over $1 billion to COVAX.

British High Commissioner Dr. Christian Turner CMG said the people of the UK and Pakistan had come together to fight COVID-19.

“The COVAX facility has been the main way the world has united to make sure all countries get the vaccines they need as quickly as possible, including Pakistan. The UK has been a world leader in supporting COVAX, and COVAX has committed to supplying Pakistan with COVID-19 vaccines for 45m people this year.”

He said the UK had stood shoulder to shoulder with Pakistan in the pandemic, pivoting around £20m of UK aid to help Pakistan fight the pandemic. This includes funding the World Health Organisation (WHO) since April 2020 to build laboratory testing capacity through training and provision of equipment across Pakistan.