‘Provincial governments can procure coronavirus vaccines’

This photograph shows a syringe poses on a vial of AstraZeneca anti-COVID-19 vaccine in a pharmacy in Paris on March 12, 2021. — AFP/File

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said Monday the Centre has permitted provincial governments to procure coronavirus vaccines.

“The federal government has procured & will continue to procure COVID vaccine for all Pakistanis,” the special assistant said in a tweet.

“At the same time, there is no NOC (no objection certificate) requirement, (or any NOC pending) or bar for any provincial govt to procure any registered vaccine if they are able to. Any facilitation needed will be provided,” he added.

Earlier, it was reported that Pakistan may not receive the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine doses till May or even later as India had diverted the supplies to meet its domestic needs, with the third wave of the virus leading to a surge in coronavirus cases across the world.

The health authorities said, following a delay in the arrival of AstraZeneca’s Covishield through COVAX, they have ordered one million doses of Sinopharm vaccine from China which is due to arrive in Pakistan on Tuesday, March 30, while at least 60,000 doses of China’s single-dose vaccine, Convidecia, are also expected to reach Pakistan on the same night.

Meanwhile, a private company has also imported the single-dose Chinese vaccine. The first shipment of 10,000 doses of single-dose Chinese vaccine Convidecia, developed by the CanSino Biologics Inc, was expected to reach Karachi today, being imported by a private firm AJM Pharma Ltd,” Hasan Abbas Zaheer, technical advisor of the AJM Pharma (pvt) Limited, told The News.

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