Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Health Dr Faisal Sultan on Wednesday announced that the government will provide COVID-19 vaccines free of charge to the general public across the country.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Dr Faisal Sultan said that they were devising a mechanism for the provision of the vaccine to the people.
After clinical trial, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) approved AstraZeneca and Sinopharm’s vaccines for emergency use in the country, he said.
The health minister further added that Pakistan would initially procure over 20 million doses of the coronavirus vaccines.
Dr Faisal Sultan, however, said that Sinopharm’s efficiency was 80 per cent. He further said that the government will provide 1 million doses of the vaccine to the general public during the first quarter of the current year.
In the first phase, the coronavirus vaccine will be provided to healthcare workers and people over 60 years of age, he added.
Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed to expedite supple of COVID vaccines across the country.
The meeting was attended by Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Asad Umar, Dr Faisal Sultan and Dr Sania Nishtar.
At the meeting, the committee members said that emergency use of two vaccines has been approved in the last few days and steps are being fast-tracked for the approval of more vaccines. Committee members added that steps are being taken to procure two approved vaccines. Vaccines will be delivered in the first quarter of this year.
The Prime Minister directed the Cabinet Committee to expedite the steps taken for procurement and supply of approved vaccines.