Pakistan will buy 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from China’s Sinopharm, a minister said Thursday, the first official confirmation of a vaccine purchase by the South Asian country in the fight against a second wave of infections.
China on Thursday approved a COVID-19 vaccine developed by a subsidiary of government-backed pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm. This is the first vaccine to be approved for the general public.
“The Cabinet Committee has decided to initially purchase 1.2 million doses of the vaccine from Chinese company Sinopharm, which will be made available for free to frontline workers in the first quarter of 2021,” said Pakistani Science and Technology Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Twitter.
Pakistan earlier this month approved $ 150 million to buy COVID-19 vaccines to initially cover the most vulnerable 5 percent of the population.
The country did not disclose what vaccine it would source, but said an expert group was compiling a list of recommendations and that it could tap more than one source.
“If the private sector wants to import another internationally approved vaccine, it can do so,” Hussain said Thursday.
The country of 220 million people is in the midst of yet another flood of infections. 58 deaths on Wednesday brought the death toll to over 10,000.
There were also 2,475 new infections reported for a total of 479,715.
Pakistan is also conducting Phase III clinical trials for CanSino Biologics’ COVID-19 vaccine candidate Ad5-nCoV, led by the state’s National Institute of Health.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)