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First batch of Covid-19 vaccine doses to arrive in Pakistan

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BEIJING: A special Pakistan Air Force (PAF) plane carrying the first batch of Covid-19 vaccine doses is due to arrive in Islamabad from Beijing on Monday

China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi during a phone call with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi last week had promised to provide 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Pakistan by January 31.

Beijing had asked Islamabad to send an airplane to get the vaccines, APP reported.

Later, Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Hua Chunying had also confirmed that in order to support the brothers and sisters in Pakistan, the Chinese government would provide a batch of vaccines as aid and would actively coordinate with the relevant Chinese enterprise to speed up export of vaccines to Pakistan.

The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), which oversees Pakistan’s coronavirus response, had sent the special aircraft to bring the vaccine that Beijing had promised to provide.

The NCOC has taken necessary steps to store the vaccine in Islamabad and onward supply to various federating units particularly to Sindh and Balochistan through the air.

It has also set up a vaccine nerve center with the provincial and district level vaccine administration and coordination and adult vaccination centers.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, China and Pakistan have been working together to overcome difficulties.

Pakistan has approved two foreign anti-COVID vaccines as of now, including the Chinese Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, for emergency use in the country.

Pakistan plans to provide vaccines to frontline health workers and elderly people in the first phase.

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