ISLAMABAD, May 08 (APP): Special Assistant to the Prime Minister responsible for national health services, regulation and coordination, Dr Faisal Sultan said on Saturday that Pakistan had received its first shipment of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID- vaccine 19 (SII-AZ AZD1222) of the COVAX installation.
During a press briefing at the vaccine handover ceremony with diplomatic missions and COVAX donors, Dr Faisal said that the shipment of 1,238,400 doses of vaccine, which will be followed by another 1,236 000 in a few days, will support the current Pakistani government. historic desire to end the pandemic.
He said new allocations from June will be confirmed in due course, while the goal of the COVAX facility is to provide Pakistan with sufficient doses to immunize 20% of the population based on availability.
Dr Faisal welcomed this first shipment with representatives of the technical and financial partners of COVAX at the headquarters of the National Center for Emergency Operations (NEOC). In this unprecedented crisis, we appreciate the contribution of COVAX and GAVI to the collective effort to fight COVID-19 in Pakistan.
He said that sometimes such crises propel innovation and to that end we have been able to rapidly expand the capacity of EPI facilities to vaccinate our eligible population against COVID.
Recently, we have administered almost 200,000 doses per day and we will be able to increase to 0.5 million doses per day very soon.
He said that I urge all people over 40 to register for vaccination so that we can continue our mission of vaccinating our fellow citizens, especially those who belong to high risk and vulnerable groups. Very soon we will be able to expand the campaign to other age groups and demographics.
Addressing the ceremony, WHO Representative in Pakistan Dr Palitha Gunarathna Mahipala said that over the past year WHO has stood with the Pakistani government to provide technical advice and new tools needed to prepare for, prevent, detect and respond to the spread of this new virus.
He said that today we are delighted to receive the COVID-19 vaccine which will safely and effectively prevent unnecessary suffering. This vaccine has undergone clinical trials and has been approved for use in Pakistan and internationally.
Currently, WHO is working to help Pakistan end the pandemic, including these new vaccines and the public health measures that have been the basis of the response for the past 15 months. We thank the Government of Pakistan for their commitment to ensure that these vaccines are quickly delivered throughout Pakistan and our health workers for their hard work and dedication during the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
UNICEF Pakistan Representative Aida Girma said UNICEF is proud to lead efforts to purchase and deliver safe, effective and affordable COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of the COVAX facility that aims to reach people in low- and middle-income countries quickly and ensure that no one at risk is left behind.
UNICEF commends the Government of Pakistan for its leadership in the national pandemic response, including the successful deployment of the national immunization program, and thanks COVAX partners for their generous contribution.
The UNICEF representative said solidarity was essential to end the pandemic because no one is safe until everyone is safe. I urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated and I call on everyone to strictly adhere to COVID-19 safety measures to curb the spread of the virus.
This delivery, the first of many, is the product of an unprecedented global partnership to ensure that no country is left behind in the global COVID-19 vaccine race, ”said Alexa Reynolds, senior director of Gavi for Pakistan. “These vaccines are safe, they are effective and they will play an important role in helping the country end this pandemic.”
We welcome the opportunity to concretely show our solidarity with the government of Pakistan and support its efforts to fight the coronavirus through this important vaccine delivery. We are proud to play our part in the global COVAX initiative, alongside our partners, as it helps complement efforts where vaccines are needed. At the moment, the SOPs still need to be followed, said Ms Androulla Kaminara, EU Ambassador to Pakistan.
The United States welcomes the successful arrival in Pakistan of 1.2 million doses of the vaccine? AstraZeneca COVID-19. We remain committed to working bilaterally and multilaterally to support access to vaccines for the world’s most at-risk populations, said U.S. Embassy Chargé d’affaires, Angela P. Aggeler.
This pandemic has shown the importance of partnerships, such as the long-standing partnership between the United States and Pakistan, which has enabled us to respond together more effectively to this health crisis.
I am proud of the UK’s role in the development of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the University of Oxford which Pakistan is receiving today. The UK is one of the world’s biggest contributors to the COVAX facility – donating $ 548million to ensure countries get the vaccines they need, including Pakistan. Dr Christian Turner, British High Commissioner to Pakistan.
The arrival today of the first batch of COVAX in Pakistan is an important step in the fight against this pandemic together. It is also a strong pledge of multilateralism and international solidarity at its best and Germany, as the second donor, is proud to contribute to the COVAX facility for more than 1.5 billion euros. We believe that inclusive global access to vaccines is the need of the hour and that no one is safe until everyone is safe, said Dr Philipp Deichmann, Head of Business and DHM , German Embassy in Pakistan.
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