Pakistan to Get 45 Million India-Made COVID Vaccines Through GAVI
Pakistan has inoculated 27.5 million people, including frontline health workers and elderly people, against COVID.
The Pakistan National Health Services announced on 5 March that the country is to receive 45 million ‘Made in India’ COVID vaccines this year through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, reported The Nation.
HOW WILL THIS WORK?
Pakistan will not receive the vaccine directly from India, but through its partnership with GAVI.
By June 2021, out of the total of 45 million, Pakistan is to receive 16 million free doses of Serum Institute of India-Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield, which will cover 20 percent of Pakistan’s population, noted NHS secretary Aamir Ashraf Khawaja, reported Dawn.
The first batch of vaccines is due by mid-March and the rest by the end of June, reported Livemint.
WHAT IS GAVI?
GAVI is a public-private global health partnership with the goal of increasing access to immunisation in poor countries.
GAVI pools demand for vaccines from the world’s poorest countries to accelerate access to life-saving vaccines with support from countries it has partnered with, like India.
All countries pay a share of the cost of their GAVI-supported vaccines. As a country’s income grows, its co-financing payments gradually increase to cover the full cost of vaccines.
GAVI also relies on long-term donor support to fund its health partnership model.
PAKISTAN’S VACCINATION DRIVE
Khawaja noted that so far Pakistan has inoculated 27.5 million people, including frontline health workers and elderly people, against COVID-19.
Khawaja also informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that Sinopharm, a Chinese pharmaceutical company will provide one million COVID vaccine shots to Pakistan, of which 0.5 million doses have already been received.
INDIA’S VACCINE EXPORTS
Around 361.94 lakh doses of COVID vaccines have been supplied to 66 countries, including the UK, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Bangladesh, South Africa, and others, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on 26 February.
According to MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava, 67.5 lakh doses of the total vaccines have been supplied as grant assistance or ‘gifts’ and 294.44 lakh on a commercial basis.
India hopes to deliver more than two billion doses to people in 190 countries in less than a year, reported BBC. India is a vaccine powerhouse, which makes 60 percent of the world's vaccines, added the report.
India has supplied 5.51 crore COVID-19 vaccines to 62 different countries, stated Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday, 8 March.
“Unlike most other countries, we have a steady supply of COVID-19 vaccines that are safe with proven immunogenicity and efficacy. Based on the initial results, these Made in India vaccines have shown some of the lowest adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) anywhere in the world”, said Harsh Vardhan.
He added that India cannot be safe from the pandemic in isolation, and it is important to curb COVID-19 vaccine nationalism, and equitable distribution is the need for the hour.
(With inputs from Dawn and The Nation)
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