Pakistan to get made in India COVID-19 vaccine under GAVI alliance

Pakistan will be getting 45 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine, being manufactured in India, under the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi), for inoculating 45 million people.

By Harkirpal Singh, Updated : Mar 10, 2021 10:03 IST
Pakistan to get made in India COVID-19 vaccine under GAVI alliance
Image Source- Financial Times

According to recent reports, the terror-sponsoring nation of Pakistan will be getting free Covishield vaccine under the GAVI alliance. These Covid-19 vaccine doses are among those bought by GAVI, which works to increase access to immunization in poor countries, from India.

Pakistan will be getting 45 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine, being manufactured in India. Earlier due to a lack of vaccination development capabilities, Pakistan aimed to tackle the Covid-19 challenge through herd immunity and donated vaccines.

However, things did not turn out well for Pakistan as Chinese-made vaccines did not turn out to be reliable and the herd community approach did not work as well. 

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According to reports, Pakistan would receive the first batch of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India by mid-March and the rest of it is expected to arrive by June.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was informed on Thursday (local time) that the country was relying mostly on free doses being provided by the Gavi to inoculate the citizens against the coronavirus as the Chinese-made vaccine CanSino would cost $13 or around Pakistani ₹2,000 per person and vaccine turned out to be unreliable. 

During the PAC meeting, headed by its Chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain, the officials of the Ministry of National Health Services and the National Institute of Health (NIH) said that Pakistan would get a total of 16 million free doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, which is being manufactured in India, through Gavi for inoculating 45 million people against the yearly target of 70 million.

The health ministry and the NIH officials apprised PAC that phase three of the CanSino vaccine trials was completed for the first time in Pakistan with 75% efficacy, and that a total of 18,000 people were inoculated.

Pakistan's Parliamentary Secretary Health Dr. Nausheen Hamid had said that the government secured vaccines for 45 million people through the Gavi Covax facility and had taken urgent measures to purchase additional vaccines for 10 million people for which the cabinet approved $150 million.

India’s huge capacity to make coronavirus vaccines is helping the country take on China in the battle to gain political influence across the developing world. 

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So far, New Delhi has managed to ship more than 7 million free vaccines around the world. China has pledged around 3.9 million, according to publicly available information compiled by Bloomberg, some of which have yet to arrive. 

India has exported over 40 million shots—3 times as many doses as it has administered at home. Pakistan, although being a terror-sponsoring nation, will still get the Made-in-India coronavirus vaccine as common people of Pakistan could suffer serious consequences if not vaccinated on time.

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