One million coronavirus vaccine doses will arrive in Pakistan on Sunday via Pakistan International Airlines’ planes, the airline has said.
PIA, in a statement on Wednesday, said that vaccines were loading on three PIA Boeing 777 planes and they would arrive in Pakistan from China on Sunday.
However, the airline did not specify which vaccine brand was being brought.
The development comes a week after a Pakistan Air Force plane carrying 0.5 million Chinese-based company SinoVac’s vaccine doses landed at the Nur Khan Airbase in Islamabad.
Although the government is yet to acquire more vaccines for coronavirus, it is still hoping to vaccinate at least 70 million people by the end of this year, according to a media report.
Despite the bottlenecks, Pakistani officials are confident that the daily vaccination may hit 100,000 persons per day soon. They are also expecting that the vaccination will reach 200,000 per day in the coming weeks and months as it is gaining momentum in the country.
The PTI-led government has so far approved $150 million for procurement of vaccines for the Covid-19 pandemic and another formal summary will be forwarded to get an approval of $90 million for this purpose obtained from the Islamic Development Bank.
In totality, the allocated amount will go up to $240 million to obtain the vaccine that had become scarce in all countries.
Pakistan will start the local production of CanSinoBio’s coronavirus vaccine next month, National Institute of Health’s officials had said earlier in the day.
The development comes after 100,00 people were vaccinated in a day for the first time in Pakistan on Tuesday.
The NIH officials said the arrangements to prepare CanSinoBio’s coronavirus vaccine were done, while the raw material for the vaccine would reach Pakistan in early May.
The official said they were hopeful that the single-dose vaccine would be available by the end of May for public inoculation.