Pakistan has ordered 13 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from three Chinese companies and expects to receive them in the next two months, according to Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan.

He told Reuters that the vaccines were obtained from Sinopharm, CanSinoBio, and Sinovac. They will replace approximately 2.4 million shots from the COVAX program for developing countries, which are scheduled to arrive during that time frame.

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“We will continue to procure from all available sources worldwide,” Faisal said. “For the time being, China is our primary source of vaccines to satisfy our current and future needs, but we are exploring all possibilities for successful and safe vaccines.”

Around 2.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, part of the first tranche of 14 million doses under the World Health Organization and GAVI’s COVAX program, will also be arriving, according to the PM’s aide, and will most likely come from South Korea.

In a nation with a population of 220 million people, only slightly more than 2 million people have been vaccinated so far, the lowest rate in South Asia.

Up until the end of 2021, the COVAX program has committed 45 million doses to the region, with deliveries set to begin in March. However, due to its own deteriorating Covid-19 condition, India, which manufactures the AstraZeneca vaccine, has halted supplies.

“Due to the COVAX delay, we were unable to achieve our anticipated vaccination volume in February and March,” Faisal said. “However…the journey is gaining momentum.”

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