Islamabad : Federal Secretary National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination Aamir Ashraf Khawaja on Thursday informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the country was going to receive 45m Indian manufactured doses of Covid-19 during current month (March).
He was briefing about the ongoing vaccination process in a meeting of PAC that was headed by its Chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain. Khawaja informed the committee that so far about 27.5m people had been vaccinated against Covid-19 including the front line health workers and the elder citizens. He said that according to the priority set by the federal cabinet, firstly the front line health workers, health workers and people having 65 years plus age would be vaccinated.He said that a total of 45m doses of vaccine would be received under an agreement with Vaccine alliance Gavi and out of total 16m would be received till June this year. It is pertinent to mention here that Gavi is a public-private partnership that helps provide vaccines to developing countries. It had signed an agreement with Pakistan to provide COVID-19 vaccine in September 2020. The secretary health said it was expected earlier that the vaccine would arrive from Gavi in the first week of March however it had been little delayed and now it was expected within next few weeks.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed questioned that from where it was coming. The secretary health informed that Pakistan would receive vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
MNA Raja Riaz asked the secretary health that the parliamentarians should be vaccinated on earlier stages because they were exposed to public all the time. The PAC chairman intervened and furthered the point taken by Raja Riaz. He said that in most of the countries heads of the state were administered vaccines for encouragement and confidence building of the masses.
He said the same should be followed in Pakistan as well and President, Prime Minister and lawmakers should be given the doses of vaccine to end reluctance among masses about the vaccine. The committee also discussed the private availability of the vaccine and questioned that how would the private labs get the vaccine. The health secretary informed the committee that no such import approval had been given so far as nobody applied to the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan in this regard.