The Pakistani government said on Tuesday that Pakistan has purchased more than one million doses of Chinese Sinopharm and CanSino Biologics vaccines against Covid-19, which is its first purchase from any manufacturer that previously relied on donations.

The injectable vaccines are due this month while negotiations continue for another 7 million doses from the same companies.

Pakistan has seen a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections, with 633,741 coronavirus cases and nearly 14,000 deaths, with 3,270 infections and 72 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours alone.

Pakistan is presently vaccinating healthcare workers and citizens over 60 for free with more than 1 million doses of Sinopharma donated by China.

Pakistan has been relying on such donations and allocations from the WHO-supported COVAX / GAVI program for poor countries.

Pakistan aims to vaccinate some 70 million of its 220 million population to achieve adequate immunity. While the population under 18 years of age which is roughly 100mn, is not on priority of the government.

While 45 million vaccines will be covered by the COVAX / GAVI arrangement, Pakistan will need to provide the needs of around 25 million vaccines, said Asad Omar.

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